Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Raheem puts Ba into IDC semis

Fiji U23 utility Mohammed Raheem came off the bench and scored Ba’s winner as they defeated Labasa 1-0 in the final group match of the 2023 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) in Suva tonight to book their place in the semifinals.

The former Seaqaqa rep who has been used as an impact in all of Ba’s matches, did not disappoint as it took him less than two minutes on the field to score the winner in the 56th minute after finishing off a Gulam Razool through pass brilliantly, giving veteran goalie and Labasa Captain Simione Tamanisau no chance at all.

Sitiveni Rakai.1jpg

Heading into the match, Ba just needed a draw to progress while Labasa needed a win to reach the final four.

The absence of Christopher Wasasala upfront was heavily felt as Rusiate Doidoi and Ilisoni Loloivalu struggled to break past the Ba defence and often relied on midfielders Akeimi Ralulu, Ashnil Raju and Edwin Sahayam to take shots.

Peceli Sukabula 1

On the other side, the Men in Black depended on the attacking prowess of Darold Kakasi, Nabil Begg and Etonia Dogalau.

Experienced goalie Misiwani Nairube who started ahead of Tevita Koroi and Atunaisa Naucukidi, made a couple of good saves as the teams headed to the change room with no goals.

llaisa Vulimainavuso 1

The momentum of the match rose in the second stanza as coaches Mohammed Ashif Khan and Mohammed Kasim rung in changes with the aim to find the winner.

A tactical change saw Raheem enter the field in place of Sailasa Ratu and he immediately made his presence felt with a timely run and through pass before getting the perfect opportunity to nail the winner as a poor clearance by Sahayam was intercepted by Razool who unselfishly laid the ball into its path.

Darold Kakasi 1

Labasa worked hard to get back in the match but brilliant goalkeeping by Nairube and poor finishing in front of goal saw the score-line remain intact till the final whistle.

Ba tops Group A while Lautoka accompanies them as the runners-up.

Ashnil Raju

The teams:

RC Manubhai Ba– Misiwani Nairube, Praneel Naidu (C), Rahul Naresh, Darold Kakasi, Sailasa Ratu, Nabil Begg, Peceli Sukabula, Ratu Apenisa Anare, Suliano Tawanakoro, Etonia Dogalau, Samuela Navoce.

Extra Supermarket Labasa– Simione Tamanisau (C), Iliesa Lino, Sitiveni Rakai, Edwin Sahayam, Ilaisa Nayasi, Rusiate Doidoi, Ilisoni Loloivalu, Ashnil Raju, Shivam Shandil, Akeimi Ralulu, Lekima Gonerau.

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

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