Navua held Fiji FACT champions Lautoka to a 1-1 draw in the second match of the 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoops Ice-Cream Battle of the Giants at Prince Charles Park in Nadi today.
The star-studded Blues got on the score-board in just five minutes through prolific striker Sairusi Nalaubu and led 1-0 at the break.
Fuelled by sheer determination and urge to hit back into the match, the Saiyad Ali coached southerners lifted their game in the second stanza.
The introduction of Thomas Dunn and Solomon Islander Jackson Wale added more speed and depth to their attack force and after launching over a dozen of attacks on the Blues goalmouth, lanky Zainal Ali headed the equalizer in the 74th minute.
Lautoka ended the match with only ten players after defender Kishan Sami was given a direct red card by match referee Suraj Prakash for back-chatting.
Bargain Box Lautoka will face host Esy Kool / Star Pools / Ranvis Nadi in their next match at 7pm tomorrow while Southern Forest Navua will come up against Security Systems Management Inc. / Oceania Fiberglass PTE Ltd Tailevu Naitasiri at 1pm.
Lautoka– Senirusi Bokini, Epeli Leiroti, Zibraaz Sahib, Afraz Ali, Sitiveni Cavuilagi, Aporosa Yada, Ilimotama Jese (C), Kishan Sami, Sairusi Nalaubu, Saula Waqa, Sterling Vasconcellos.
Navua– Viliame Rakuro, Simione Damuni, Jared Rongosulia, Sunny Deol, Arami Manumanubai, Isake Naduvu, Vinal Prasad, Jone Naraba, Zainal Ali, Matthew Charitar (C), Kolinio Sivoki.