November 18, 2016
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NZFFI All Stars upset champs Nadi

Defending champion and host Nadi suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of the New Zealand Fiji Football Inc (NZFFI) All Stars in the feature Day 3 match of the 2016 Pacific Cup tonight.

The match, a repeat of the 2015 final in Auckland proved to be a thriller with both teams aiming for nothing less than a win.

Nadi entered the encounter as favorites after impressive wins over Ba and Labasa and the Kiwis had a lot to prove after losing to Ba last night.

The first half failed to produce any goal although Nadi had more chances with Rusiate Matarerega and Andrew Naicker being set free on a couple of occasions.

NZFFI All Stars skipper Ravinesh Narayan denied Matarerega on two occasions and also made another good save from a Christopher Clarke attempt.

Replacement Apisai Smith nodded in the winner for NZFFI All Stars in the 38th minute from a beautifully executed free-kick by Rinal Prasad.

The goal lifted the tempo of the match as Nadi fought hard for the equalizer while NZFFI All Stars kept its defence tight and launched attacks through counter moves.

The result makes tomorrow’s matches exciting. NZFFI will feature twice. The Josaia Bukalidi coached side will take on the AFFA All Stars at midday and will then face Labasa at 5pm.

Nadi will take on AFFA All Stars at 6.15pm.

The Jetsetters and Ba have 6 points after three matches while Labasa and NZFFI All Stars have 3 points each after two matches and AFFA All Stars are yet to register a point after playing two games.

By Reginald Chandar

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