October 24, 2021
17-year-old Nabil Begg rose above the Suva defence and headed in the winner as Ba overcame the defending champions Suva 2-1 in Round 7 of the Digicel Premier League at the ANZ Stadium today.
The Kamil Muslim College Year 12 student came on as a replacement and got the winner in the 84th minute after walking his way past two defenders on the left hand edge of the box and laying the ball into the path of Darold Kakasi who curled it back into his path, giving the youngster the chance to connect with a header which left goalkeeper Emori Ragata and the Whites defence stunned.
The match started at a slow pace but the hosts missed two early sitters through Mohammed Shazil Ali and Ni-Vanuatu striker Alex Saniel.
Ba opened its account in the 25th minute as a beautiful cross by left midfielder Aakash Sharma was headed into the back of the net by Samuela Drudru.
Suva had few more chances but could not capitalise on them as the visitors led 1-0 at the break.
Saniel got Suva back in the match straight after halftime as he headed in the equalizer to make the remaining stanza of the encounter more exciting and thrilling.
With the heat taking its toll on the players, Coaches Daniel Krishneel and Babs Khan opted to make changes and send in fresh players.
Ba sent in Etonia Dogalau, veteran Avinesh Warran Swamy and Begg while Suva gave game time to Kelvin Naidu, Manasa Levaci and Waisake Navunigasau.
Kakasi hit the cross-bar in the 82nd minute as Suva defenders started to show signs of lethargy, and minutes after, Begg managed to find the winner.
The win pushes Ba to the fourth spot in the DPL standing with 10 points while Suva remains in sixth place with 7 points.
Unique Rubber Stamp Suva- Emori Ragata, Meli Codro, Simione Nabenu, Remueru Tekiate, Mohammed Ramzan Khan (Kelvin Naidu), Iosefo Verevou (C) (Manasa Levaci), Merrill Nand (Waisake Navunigasau), Alex Saniel, Shahil Dave, Filipe Baravilala, Mohammed Shazil Ali.
Online IT Solutions Ba- Sanaila Waqanicakau, Ilimotama Jese (C), Samuela Navoce (Etonia Dogalau), Emosi Navaba, Peceli Sukabula, Aakash Sharma, Kalaveti Sivoi, Shameel Rao, Naren Rao, Samuela Drudru (Avinesh Warran Swamy), Darold Kakasi.
By Reginald Chandar