Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Nadi progresses to final of NZFFI IDC

An extra time free-kick by Sam Mason-Smith saw a star-studded Nadi outfit edge Labasa 1-0 in the first semifinal of the New Zealand Fiji Football Incorporated (NZFFI) Visa Solutions Inter District Championship (IDC) at the Bill McKinlay Park in Auckland today.

Nadi was ably led by the likes of goalkeeper Benaminio Mataniqara, Samuela Kautoga, Abbu Zahid, Sairusi Nalaubu, Andrew Naicker, Samuela Drudru and Dave Radrigai.

On the other hand, Suva left-back Kavaia Rawaqa featured for Labasa.

Nalaubu managed to find the net in the first spell but was ruled off-side.

In the 42nd minute, Nadi made two quick changes, sending in Prashneel Roy and Drudru to replace Zahid and Naicker to add more spark to their strike force.

Both teams tussled hard and tested each others defence but neither managed to change the score-line, forcing the match into extra time.

In the first half of extra time, Labasa got a penalty after Kautoga brought down Argentinian defender Nicholas Contrati down inside the box.

Luke Jekinson took the penalty but Mateinaqara dived to his left and made a perfect save.

In the second extra half, Contrati copped a yellow card for a foul play on Kautoga which resulted in the free-kick which was swung in well by Kalilou Kamara was headed in by Mason-Smith, leaving the Labasa defenders and goalkeeper Epeli Codro stunned.

Nadi will face Tavua in the final at 4pm today.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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