October 15, 2017
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Goalie Bokini stars as Lautoka wins IDC

Replacement goalkeeper Senirusi Bokini saved two penalties as host Lautoka defeated Ba 5-4 in penalties to clinch the 2017 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) title at Churchill Park today.

The much awaited final commenced on a very fast paced and Lautoka suffered a big blow in the 4th minute after Captain Laitia Tuilau was sent off for a dangerous foul on Saula Waqa.

With a player short, the Blues opted to send in long through passes into the Ba box and this helped as Samuela Drudru connected well with a through pass but was chopped inside the Ba box by Meli Codro, resulting in a penalty being awarded to Lautoka in the 19th minute.

Zibraaz Sahib calmly chipped the ball into the roof of the net to put the hosts up.

Ba was also reduced to ten players in the 32nd minute after Laisenia Raura was sent off for a crude challenge on Drudru.

Lautoka led 1-0 at halftime but Ba came out strongly and after a series of attacks, Codro managed to walk past two defenders and send in a floating cross which was headed into the back of the net by Captain Abbu Zahid in the 54th minute.

The tempo of the game increased after the equalizer and both teams sent in replacements to keep the pressure on each other’s’ defence.

At the conclusion of the mandatory 90 minutes, the teams remained locked at 1-1 and two spells of extra was then played.

Lautoka’s Christopher Wasasala missed a golden opportunity in front of goal in the 5th minute of the first spell of extra time while Saula Waqa and Samuela Nabenia missed for Ba.

Codro was denied by goalie Mateinaqara early in the second spell of the extra time while Praneel Naidu’s free-kick which had the power and direction was saved daringly by the goalkeeper.

Ba lost lanky marksman Waqa just before the completion of extra time following his second booking of the final.

The winner had to be decided in penalty shoot-out.

Avinesh Swamy and Zibraaz Sahib scored from the first attempts.

Mavileko Nakama and Josefata Dugucagi also scored from their attempts.

Lautoka pulled out Mateinaqara and sent in Senirusi Bokini.

Manasa Nawakula and Dave Radrigai scored from their attempts as the scores were level 4-4.

Ba also replaced goalkeeper Josaia Ratu with Misiwani Nairube.

Bokini saved Malakai Rakula’s fourth attempt for Ba while Christopher Wasasala placed his attempt into the corner to give Lautoka a 5-4 lead.

And Bokini won the tournament for Lautoka after blocking Meli Codro’s fifth attempt.

Lautoka wins $22,000 and the coveted IDC silverware while Ba gets $6000 for reaching the final.

Comments, match analysis, reactions and interviews to follow……

The teams:

Lautoka- Beniamino Mateinaqara (Senirusi Bokini), Iliesa Lino, Zibraaz Sahib, Dave Radrigai, Kavaia Rawaqa, Christopher Wasasala, Laitia Tuilau (C), Samuela Drudru (Leisari Qalica) (Josefata Dugucagi), Kolinio Sivoki, Siotame Kubu (Jone Vesikula), Praneel Naidu.

Ba- Josaia Ratu (Misiwani Nairube), Meli Codro, Manasa Nawakula, Remueru Tekiate, Samuela Nabenia, Abbu Zahid (C), Sitiveni Cavuilagi (Mavileko Nakama), Kishan Sami (Malakai Rakula), Saula Waqa, Laisenia Raura, Naren Rao (Avinesh Swamy).

Referee: Nawen Hopkins

By Reginald Chandar

 


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