Lautoka came from behind and defeated 10-men Suva 2-1 to bounced back to its winning ways in Round 6 of the Digicel Fiji Premier League at the Uprising Sports Centre in Navua on Sunday.
The Babs Khan coached Suva saw the return of national defender Inoke Turagalailai and Sitiveni Cavuilagi returned for Lautoka after their suspension was lifted by the Fiji Football Association following their misconduct in the national team camp during the FIFA Tri-Nations in March.
The Capital City boys were without experienced striker Samuela Drudru, who was on a one match suspension after copping two yellow cards in two different matches.
The Blues gave away an early penalty to Suva after they fouled young Meli Bobo in the penalty box.
Lanky forward Rusiate Matarerega took the penalty without hesitation and opened the account for Suva in the 14th minute.
A few minutes later, Suva’s joy was cut short when they were reduced to 10 players as Joeli Ranitu was sent off after he caught his second yellow card.
Yet, Suva led by 1-nil at the breather.
Early in the second spell, Khan added the fresh legs of Ramzan Khan, Waisake Navunigasau and Ravinesh Karan Singh in place of Merrill Nand, Meli Codro and Malakai Rakula.
Few minutes later, match referee also flashed a yellow card to the Suva coach for his unsporting behaviour.
After relentless pressure from the Blues, Aporosa Yada scored the equaliser from a direct free kick which deflected off a Suva player and landed into the net in the 80th minute.
Two minutes later, match official flashed a yellow card each to Lautoka’s Saula Waqa for a shoulder charge on Filipe Baravilala and Maciu Tuinuku for a foul play.
In the additional minute of full time, national striker Sairusi Nalaubu got the winner for Lautoka as he powered right into the net which Suva and national goalkeeper Akuila Mateisuva failed to stop.
In another match, Nadroga bounced back to its winning ways after beating survivors Tailevu Naitasiri 2-1 at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka today.