Friday, March 1, 2024
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Nadi progresses to Futsal IDC final

An undefeated Nadi side has progressed to the final of the 2023 Extra Supermarket Futsal Inter District Championship (IDC) edging Labasa 3-1 in penalty kicks after both teams drew 7-7 at full time.

Both sides put on a strong performance but it was Nadi captain Mohammed Shalmeen, who broke the deadlock in the sixth minute.

Shalmeen sprinted from their defence with the ball and shot it accurately into the back of an empty net from outside of the box as Labasa goalkeeper Rajneel Narayan was out of his box.

A minute later, Junior Wanetatha doubled the lead for Nadi after he got a cut out pass from Shafeem Buksh and powered into the net before Mohammed Arian came off the bench and beat the napping Labasa defenders the chipped the ball over a niggling goalkeeper.

It was veteran striker Edwin Sahayam, who brought Labasa back into the match with their opening goal after he riffled a powerful striker which Nadi goalkeeper Mohammed Mobeen misjudged in the 10th minute.

Four minutes later, Sahayam banged on a timely cross from Mohammed Zaid to merge the gap at 3-2.

Coming off the bench in place of Zaid, Sonal Prasad showed some individual brilliance when he broke from a messy midfield and sneaked in the equaliser for the northerners.

With time ticking away, midfielder Ashnil Raju gave Labasa the lead for the first time in the match when he carried the ball all alone from his half and tiptoed into Nadi defence and tipped into the goalmouth for a 4-3 lead at the break.

The jetsetters again made a strong start upon the commencement of the second half through Shaleem as he poked on a wide cross from Buksh in the 26th minute to draw the results at 4-4.

Nadi regained its lead in the match through Wanetatha but their joy was short lived as Sahayam netted the equaliser and his hat trick in the match.

The match went into extra time with both teams looking for a win in each of their five minutes aside.

Suva striker Rusiate Matarerega gave Nadi the lead again in the first minute of extra time before Wanetatha scored their seventh goal.

Labasa managed to regroup late in the second spell of extra time and again Sahayam scored two-back-to-back goals to hold Nadi at 7-7 which resulted in penalty kicks.

Nadi got their 3/3 penalties scored from Shalmeen, Wanetatha and Matarerega while Labasa got their only penalty scored through Sahayam while Zaid, Ashnil Raju and Mohammed Altaf failed with the attempts.

Labasa will play the winner between defending champions Ba and last year’s finalists at 3pm today.

Labasa: Rajneel Narayan (GK), Mohammed Zaid, Mohammed Altaf, Edwin Shayam (C), Ashnil Raju, Mohammed Irshaad, Daniel Dass, Devneet Prasad, Shahzib Aziz, Suhail Khan.

Nadi: Etuate Kaveni (GK), Shafeem Buksh (C), Mohammed Ayman, Mohammed Shalmeen, Mohammed Arian, Rokotupou Botenakadavu, Rusiate Matarerega, Aisea Codro, Christopher Kumar, Junior Wanetatha, Arzal Rahiman, Arav Nadan, Mohammed Kafoa, Abdul Mobeen.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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