October 07, 2022
Host Suva topped Group A of the 2022 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) at the HFC Stadium today after edging Nadi 2-1 in its final match.
The Babs Khan coached side ends group stage competiiton with 7 points while Nadi bows out with only 2 points.
Navua will accompany the Whites as the second placed team in Group A after registering three draws.
All in One Builders Nadi started with urgency knowing all the stakes banked on a win today.
The green machine pushed hard to get that edge in the game.
The gamble worked and they took the lead 34 minutes in when a well-placed volley by midfielder William Valentine was misjudged by Suva goalkeeper Jovili Borisi to find back of the net.
Rams Cleaning Services/ All Freights Logistics Suva came close to equalizing close to half-time when a powerful strike from Malakai Rakula was caught in the powerful grip of a flying Tevita Ravia.
Nadi went to the break 1-0 in front.
Suva came out firing out of the break.
The equalizer came minutes in, with Peniasi Rotidara edging the ball past a flatfooted Ravia who could not control it this time around.
Nadi were outdone again soon after New Zealand import James Hoyt was flashed a direct red card by match official Mohammed Altaf for a dangerous play.
Opting to insert power into the attack, Nadi made an early substitution with Solomon Islander Jaygray Sipakana being substituted by the lanky Andrew Naicker.
Marlon Tahioa put the Capital City side in front with a goal, bringing the crowd to life in the 68th minute.
Suva smelling victory bought on powerhouse trio of Sanaila Waqanicakau, Waisake Navunigasau, Shahil Dave to replace goal scorers Rotidara, Tahioa and the hardworking Ravnesh Karan Singh with a clear notion to put the game out of reach.
A man down, the westerners continued their attempts to level the goals and keep their semifinal hopes alive.
Nadi also made changes midway in the second half, bringing on Rahul Krishna to replace Siotame Kubu and Ame Votoniu for Josua Tawake.
Suva reshuffled their game-plan, and feeling content to play the defensive game and force Nadi to make errors.
Joeli Ranitu soon made an appearance on the field giving front man Samuela Navoce some well-earned rest, with Merrill Nand going on for Azariah Soromon with less than 15 minutes to play.
Laisenia Naioko, and Barrie Limoki were substituted by Christopher Kumar and Emeriko Matau as fatigue now began to settle in for the Jet Setters.
Dave and Waqanicakau continued to harass the Nadi goal relentlessly as the minutes ticked away.
Nadi failed to make use of the seldom scoring chances afforded them, and played the remainder of the game on the defensive until the final whistle.
Suva- Jovilisi Borisi, Inoke Turagalailai, Ramzan Khan, Malakai Rakula, Marlon Tahioa, Ravnesh Karan Singh, Azariah Solomon, Filipe Baravilala, Peniasi Rotidara, Ronaldo Wilkins, Samuela Navoce.
Substitutions: Akuila Mateisuva, Sanaila Waqanicakau, Merrill Nand, Joeli Ranitu, Waisake Navunigasau, Shahil Dave.
Nadi- Tevita Ravia, Shuaib Khan, William Komasi, Noa Vukica, William Valentine, Jaygray Sipakana, Josua Tawake, Laisenia Naioko, James Hoyt, Barrie Limoki, Siotame Kubu.
Substitutions: Samuela Tamanisau, Vereti Dickson, Rahul Krishna, Ashwin Raju, Eneriko Matau, Ame Votoniu, Ratu Tulivou, Andrew Naicker, Christopher Kumar.
By Noa Biudole