October 07, 2022
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Own goal keeps Navua in the hunt

A late own goal by Mitieli Naiviro saw Navua hold Nadroga 2-2 in their final Group A match of the 2022 Courts Inter District Championship at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva today and keep their semifinal hopes alive.

The Saiyad Ali coached side now has 3 points and is currently second in the group behind leaders Suva.

The result sees Nadroga bow out of the tournament while Navua will now have to hope that Suva beats Nadi in their clash.

Navua fielded its best 11 while Nadroga played without Ghanian import Ato Yankson who has two yellow cards to his name.

The Stallions broke the deadlock in the 24th minute through Captain Tomasi Tuicakau after a beautiful setup by Kalaveti Sivoi and Zain Ali in the 24th minute.

But their celebration was cut short when Navua responded two minutes later through promising youngster Thomas Dunn, who beat two Nadroga defenders and goalkeeper Sakeo Taganeca by taking a powerful shot.

Navua again had a fine chance to score from a Melvin Mani corner kick but this time Nadroga goalkeeper Taganeca  was alert and pulled off a save.

In the added time of the first half, Nadroga were awarded a free kick and left back  Naiviro made no mistake finding the back of the net  with a well curled kick which left Viliame Rakuro stunned.

Nadroga led 2-1 at halftime.

Both teams made changes in the final quarter of the match with Navua sending in veteran Netani Doli and Alfred Ali in place of Sunny Deol and Isake Naduvu while Semesa Sacere and Taniela Raubula replaced Zain Ali and Leisari Qalica for Nadroga.

In the 75th minute, Nadroga’s Kalaveti Sivoi and Navua’s Mosese Balenagaga were flashed a yellow card each for foul play.

Navua pressed hard in search of the equaliser and a Thomas Dunn deep cross was slammed into his own goal mouth by Naiviro, who turned villan from hero.

Deep in injury time, tampers flared as both teams searched for the winner and a dangerous foul by Sivoi saw him cop his second booking and a red card.

The teams:

Nadroga- Sakeo Taganeca (GK), Romit Narayn, Ravinesh Reddy, Sekove Finau, Kalaveti Sivoi, Tomasi Tuicakau, Zain Ali (Semesa Sacere), Beniaminio Lebatavatava, VIlitati Kautoga, Mitieli Naiviro, Leisari Qalica.

Navua- Viliame Rakuro (GK), Jared Rongosulia, Sunny Deol (Netani Doli), Thomas Dunn, Melvin Mani, Arami Manumanubhai, Isake Naduvu (Alfred Ali), Vinal Prasad, Zainal Ali, Mathew Charritar, Manav Permal.

By Romeka Romena


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