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New-look Nadi holds champs Rewa in DFPL

A young and new-look Nadu outfit held champions Rewa to a goalless draw in Round 16 of the Digicel Fiji Premier League at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori today.

Rewa opted for a 3-5-2 formation and had some positional changes to its lineup.

The unavailability of Madhawan Goundar, who is out with a suspected fracture and U23 attackers Josaia Sela and Epeli Valevou, saw Coach Roderick Singh use Patrick Joseph at sweeper while OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup golden boot winner Gabriel Matanisiga made up the strike-force with Captain Setareki Hughes.

Nadi, after a dismal outing in the Battle of the Giants at home, had wholesome changes to its line-up with only Ame Votoniu and Captain Christopher Kumar holding the experience.

Goalkeeper Ratu Halstead put on a Man of the Match performance for the Jetsetters in the first half, denying the fast Rewa strikers and Iosefo Verevou scoring chances while nippy Eneriko Matau used his speed and skills well and partnered with Ratu Tulivou on a couple of occasions to launch attacks on the Rewa goalmouth.

The teams rested 0-0 at the break and a foul by goalkeeper Mohammed Alam on Matau in the 69th minute saw referee Torika Delai award the visitors a penalty.

Tulivou neatly placed the ball into the back of the net but the goal was disallowed as per the new rules pertaining to penalty kicks, as the match officials ruled that another Nadi player interfered and made a run as the penalty taker took the shot.

Matanisiga missed a golden opportunity for Rewa in the 88th minute as he was in the clear to score but was daringly denied by Halstead.

Rewa remains second with 29 points after 14 matches while Nadi having played 15 matches maintains the fifth spot with 23 points.

The teams:

Rewa– Mohammed Alam, Peniame Drova, Patrick Joseph, Monit Chand, Setareki Hughes (C), Gabriel Matanisiga, Delon Shankar (Aporosa Kuruyabaki), Iowane Matanisiga. Asivorosi Rabo, Iosefo Verevou, Tevita Waranaivalu.

Nadi– Ratu Halstead, Tuiba Batiratu, Ame Votoniu, Vishant Reddy, Ashneel Kumar, Patrick Ralulu (Apisai Sesewa), Leo Lesumai, Christopher Kumar (C), Elvis Raju, Eneriko Matau, Ratu Tulivou.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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