Former national marksman Abbu Zahid scored a brace of goals as unbeaten Rewa won the top of the table clash thrashing Lautoka 4-1 in Round 5 of the Digicel Fiji Premier League at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori on Sunday.
Rewa under the guidance of Roderick Singh played its first home match of the season with a lot of confidence and determination but the side was without its key midfielder Tevita Waranaivalu, who was on a one match suspension.
Lautoka coached by former national defender Ronil Kumar saw the return of striker Saula Waqa from one match suspension while the side missed the services of Sitiveni Cavuilagi who has been suspended by Fiji Football Association for misconduct in the national camp.
Top marksman Abu Zahid opened the account for the Delta Tigers in the 8th minute as he headed a neat cross from Ivan Kumar, who played his last match for the delta tigers today, which goalkeeper Joela Biuvanua misunderstood.
Lautoka’s Zibraaz Sahib, Muni Shivam Naidu and star striker Sairusi Nalaubu missed three early sitters in the match.
Nippy Aporosa Yada got the equaliser for the Blues 10 minutes later from a ball rebound as Rewa goalkeeper Emori Ragata pushed his first shot away but Yada pounced on it into the net.
Patrick Joseph doubled the lead for the host after he headed the ball into the net from another brilliant wide cross from Kumar, who displayed the man of the match performance.
Minutes before the break, Lautoka Captain Poasa Bainivalu copped a yellow card for his intentional foul on Rewa captain Setareki Hughes.
Rewa led by 2-1 at the breather.
Early in the second spell, Asivorosi Rabo and Iosefo Verevou took the field in place of Neemish Prasad and Peniame Drova.
While Lautoka pulled out Epeli leiroti and Sairusi Nalaubu and fielded Atonio Tuivuna and Usman Omede to add more depth to their midfield.
Match official also awarded a yellow card to Rewa’s Kumar for his foul play on Lautoka’s Manasa Nawakula.
The Blues tried to make a comeback in the match through Waqa and Ilimotama Jese but this time Ragata daringly tapped the ball away.
In the 80th minute, Zahid bagged his double with another header from a stunning Kumar cross before Kavaia Rawaqa added the final nail in Lautoka’s coffin with a right foot drive to seal the victory.
In another match, nadi outclassed Tavua 5-3 at Garvey Park today.
Rewa: Emori Ragata (GK), Peniame Drova (Iosefo Verevou), Ivan Kumar, Patrick Joseph, Neemish Prasad, Abbu Zahid, Setareki Hughes ©, Gabiriele Matanisiga, Josaia Sela (Asivorosi Rabo), Kavaia Rawaqa (Samuela Nabenia), Iowane Matanisiga.
Lautoka: Joela Biuvanua (GK), Epeli Leiroti, Aporosa Yada (Atonio Tuivuna), Malakai Lavecake, Manasa Nawakula, Ilimotama Jese, Muni Shivam Naidu, Sairusi Nalaubu, Saula Waqa, Zibraaz Sahib, Poasa Bainivalu ©.
Reserves: Senirusi Bokini, Emosi Mataka, Isoa Vonu, Isikeli Ratucava, Usman Omede, Maciu Tuinuku, Afraz Ali.