June 06, 2022
Labasa Coach Ravneel Pratap admits they failed to penetrate champions Suva's defence in the final of the 2022 Digicel Fiji FACT at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday.
Pratap said the Whites came with a solid defence and it wasn't easy to go past them to reach the goalmouth.
"First of all thanks to the God Almighty but congratulations to Suva."
"I think Suva did well, but I'm proud of the boys and even though we didn't win the game, we won lots of hearts."
"And the way we played throughout the game, we tried to penetrate the Suva defence."
"We know Suva has got a very strong defence and there were times when we were able to break through but their goalkeeper Akuila Mateisuva stood out."
"And I think that was the main thing for Suva. They were able to win because they defended well and we were not able to score the goals."
"It's all part and parcel of the game but it was a good learning experience for us," he explained.
The young coach added the message to the boys was to remain calm and humble.
"My message to the boys was to enjoy the game and play their hearts out."
"We have gone through a lot and we are the team which comes through a lot of hardship."
"And players went, they played their hearts and I'm really proud of them. I really acknowledge the way the boys have played."
He also acknowledged his players and the Babasiga Lions officials for their hard work and effort throughout the tournament.
"We will build on from here and come out stronger in the League games and other tournaments."
"Hardships like sacrificing family time, like coming over, camping for the whole week for the second round, and then we went back and then we came back this week."
"So we do a lot of traveling. We sacrifice more family time. And these boys, they put their hearts out whenever they play for Labasa," he said.
By Romeka Romena