Last year’s finalist Suva made a strong second-half comeback to beat Lami 4-1 in feature Day 1 match of the 2023 Extra Supermarket Futsal Inter District Championship (IDC) at the Vodafone Arena in Laucala Bay tonight.
Both teams played neck-to-neck and matched each other in all aspects of the game in the opening half but failed to net any goal and came out firing in the second spell.
Futsal giants Suva gave away an early penalty upon the commencement of the remaining 20 minutes when goalkeeper Shameet Kumar brought down Lami’s Shevnil Kumar in the box.
Match official Shamal Prasad immediately directed a penalty in favour of Lami which sharp shooter Manasa Levaci took and rifled the ball into the left roof of the net.
Lami’s joy was short relieved two minutes later when Suva’s debutant Ravneel Pal, got the equaliser for the Capital City boys after niggling past the last line of defence and chipping the ball over a crawling Lami goalkeeper Anas Nabi.
Suva’s Shivnal Prasad had to be carried out of the field after he sustained a stomach injury while trying to clear the ball away from their defence.
Yet, the Whites regained its lead in the 33rd minute when Rajneel Singh pounced on a set-up pass from Deepal Singh finding Nabi off his guard and banged the ball into the net.
Pal became the hero for Suva after he poked on a cross from Captain Suraj Chand sinking Lami’s chance of making a comeback while Krishneel Singh came off the bench and tapped a pass from Sunny Deol into this path, giving him an easy chance to add the final nail in Lami’s coffin.
On Day 2 of the championship tomorrow, Lami will take on Rakiraki at 4pm while Suva and Labasa will battle out at 8.30pm.
Suva: Shameet Kumar (GK), Aman Naidu, Suraj Chand (C), Krishneel Singh, Ravneel Pal, Kitione Baleloa, Sunny Deol, Rajneel Singh, Samisoni Rakuro, Deepal Singh, Shivnal Prasad, Justin Kumar, Krishneel Shekar.
Lami: Anas Nabi (GK), Ronish Singh, Nikil Chand (C), Mashooq Ilyaz, Divnesh Deo, Akash Kumar, James Kumar, Nemesh Ram, Isikeli Ratucava, Shevnil Kumar, Amil Singh, Navinesh Kumar, Joeli Ranitu.