November 17, 2016
Lautoka suffered a 2-1 upset defeat at the hands of Auckland All Stars in their second match of the 2016 Pacific Cup at Prince Charles Park in Nadi today.
The Design Engineering sponsored Blues entered the match with the favorites tag after beating Rewa 2-0 last night but the Kiwis with the likes of Ratu Luke Lomasalato, Sheik Moshin and former Auckland City reps Iwa Shaker and Andrew Milne proved stronger and went up in the 16th minute through Shaker who tapped in a cross from midfield which was mistimed by the defence.
Lautoka received a penalty just before halftime after Dave Radrigai was brought down inside the box by Moshin. Zibraaz Sahib scored from his attempt as the teams rested 1-1 at the break.
The second half was pretty tight and after exchanging numerous missed attempts on goal, the Auckland All Stars were able to seal victory from the penalty spot late in the match.
Shaker who was on his way to score was tripped from behind by Jone Vesikula and the match referee Ravitesh Behari did not hesitate to award a penalty.
Solomon Islands international Benjamin Totori calmly placed the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Benaminio Mateinaqara to extend their lead.
Lautoka Coach Kamal Swamy was a little disappointed with the outcome and said his players failed to capitalize on their chances despite having so many chances in both halves.
“This loss surely is a wake up call for us and we have to improve both defensively and in attack. We still have two more games to play and we have to come out bigger and better,” he said.
Lautoka faces Suva in its next match at 4.30pm tomorrow while the Auckland All Stars will face Rewa at 5.45pm.
By Reginald Chandar