August 07, 2022
Lanky marksman Siotame Kubu scored the lone goal in Nadi's 1-0 win over Suva in Round 16 of the Digicel Premier League at the HFC Bank Stadium in Laucala Bay today.
Dubbed the match of the round, the encounter between two of the most experienced and star-studded teams in the competition gave fans full value of every dollar they spent to witness the 90 minutes of action.
Ni-Vanuatu strikers Azariah Soromon and Ronaldo Wilkins posed early threat and tested young goalkeeper Tevita Ravia who put on a brave show.
The Whites fielded 18-year-old Amitesh Krishna in their starting lineup and the youngster had a tough debut in midfield as he was up against the likes of William Valentine and Solomon Islands international William Komasi.
After a goalless first half, both teams came firing in the second stanza, looking hungry for three points.
Suva pulled out Krishna and replaced him with Peniasi Rotidara at the commencement of the new half while Nadi kept the same lineup and went all aggressive.
A beautiful through pass from midfield saw Kubu outpace Remueru Tekiate on the left hand edge of the box and come in with a powerful drive which hit the post and landed in goal, stunning Suva goalkeeper and Captain Akuila Mateisuva in the 52nd minute.
The match got tensed after the goal as Suva players somewhat lost their cool and made foul after foul while Nadi Coach Viliame Toma opted to push more numbers in attack and only leave Captain Ilimotama Jese and Ame Votoniu in defence.
Malakai Rakula replaced an ineffective Wilkins in midfield for Suva while Waisake Navunigasau and Sanaila Waqanicakau were also introduced by Suva to add firepower and experience to the attack, but the Jetsetters managed to cling on to the narrow lead till the final whistle.
The result pushes All in One Builders/KKs Hardware Nadi to the fourth place with 26 points while Rams Cleaning Services Suva remains in third spot with 26 points with a match in hand and a better goal difference.
Nadi: Tevita Ravia (GK), Eneriko Matau, William Valentine, Ashneel Kumar, Jaygrey Sipakana, Ilimotama Jese (C), Ame Votoniu, Josua Tawake, Wlliame Komasi, Barrie Limoki, Siotame Kubu.
Reserves- Samuela Tamanisau, Vishant Reddy, Mohammed Ayman, Eshan Kumar, Christopher Kumar, Laisenia Naioko, Vuniuci Tikomaimereke, Patrick Ralulu, Tuiba Batiratu.
Suva- Akuila Mateisuva (GK) (C), Inoke Turagalailai, Simione Nabenu, Remueru Tekiate, Amitesh Krishna, Anish Khem, Ravinesh Karan Singh, Samuela Drudru, Azariah Soromon, Filipe Baravilala, Ronaldo Wilkins.
Reserves-Meli Codro, Malakai Rakula, Peniasi Rotidara, Joeli Ranitu, Waisake Navunigasau, Shahil Dave, Sanaila Waqanicakau, Samuela Navoce, Jovilisi Borisi.
By Romeka Romena