Seasoned campaigner Kolinio Sivoki scored from a late free-kick as Navua defeated host Nadi 2-1 to book its spot into the semifinals of the 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoops Ice Cream Battle of the Giants.
The southerners under the guidance of Saiyad Ali entered the match with two draws and needed a win to progress to the knockout stages while Nadi after a 3-1 loss to Lautoka last night was in a must win situation.
The first half did not produce any goals and the drama unfolded in the second stanza when a controversial penalty was awarded to the hosts.
Veteran William Valentine successfully converted his attempt to put the Kamal Swamy coached side ahead but Navua’s remarkable comeback and sheer determination explained the remaining script of the match.
After numerous misses, lanky Zainal Ali managed to level the scores through a brilliant pile driver in the 84th minute.
The winner came deep in injury time as Navua was awarded a free-kick just outside the Nadi box.
Sivoki beautifully delivered a master-class from the left-hand edge of the box to find the right corner of the Nadi net,
Southern Forest Navua finishes second and accompanies Lautoka to the semifinals from Group A.