Undefeated Navua Coach Saiyad Ali said the team displayed a good fighting spirit in their 2-1 comeback win against host Nadi in their final group match of the 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoops Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament at Prince Charles Park on Sunday.
The result saw the southerners finish second in Group A and progress to the semifinals.
While acknowledging the efforts of his players, Ali said the team reflected on its past performance and gave their all in the all-important match.
“Till the end, we were there fighting and scored the goals. My boys deserved the win,” Ali told FijiLive.
“One thing we have seen from the players in this tournament is that they have a fighting spirit since the first match against Navua. We kept fighting and eventually in the second half we managed to get the goals with the right momentum.”
“Even after the tie with Naitasiri, we were confident of beating Nadi and qualifying for the semifinals. It was the hunger and desire to play in the semifinal and the commitment shown by the boys. They were very disciplined and focused for the Nadi encounter.”
While the team will be enjoying their march into the semifinal round, Ali said there are a lot of improvements the team will need to do in the given month.
“It’s always a great feeling qualifying into the semifinal and it’s very special for my boys and officials who have been working very hard.”
“There was a lot of inconsistency and decision making but nevertheless, we believed that we’ll score and go through.”
“First we’ll have to assess the injuries and then give at least one week to our players to recover before we hit the pitch again. There are many areas we’ve got to look at after the three games and work on each player’s position as well.”
Alongside Navua, group leaders Lautoka has also cruised to the semifinal stages which will be played on 19 September.