August 15, 2020
It will be an all-Southern final in the 2020 Punjas Battle of the Giants at Lautoka’s Churchill Park on Sunday after Suva defeated Nadi 2-1 in extra time of the second semifinal.
The capital city side will face arch rivals Rewa in the final at 3pm.
Nadi and Suva started their clash well and both teams had their fair share of scoring opportunities in the first spell.
Injuries to goalkeeper Vereti Dickson and Napolioni Qasevakatini forced Nadi to make changes at the break.
Lanky marksman Rusiate Matarerega opened Nadi’s account in the 59th minute with a good finish.
Captain Ravinesh Karan Singh kept Suva in the match with an 85th minute equaliser to force the match into extra time.
Through a beautiful counter-attacking move, Suva found striker Sairusi Nalaubu in the clear and he cleverly headed the ball into an empty goalmouth in the 9th minute of the first spell of extra time as goalkeeper Samuela Tamanisau was beaten in an aerial contest.
Nadi Captain Avinesh Warran Swamy threatened with some long range attempts, pile drivers and free-kicks but an ever alert Beniamino Mateinaqara kept things under control between the wood work.
Suva was awarded a penalty late in the second spell of extra time after Meli Codro was brought down inside the box by the goalkeeper, but Semi Matalau’s attempt went out of play.
By Reginald Chandar