Ba downs Labasa in league clash

Ilisoni Lolaivalu on attack for Labasa against Ba during their clash at Fiji Football Academy in Ba. Picture: SUPPLIED

Defending champions Ba bounced back after two consecutive losses in the Vodafone Premier League to defeat Labasa 2-1 at the Fiji Football Association Academy Ground in Namosau yesterday.

Down by a goal at half time the Men in Black took the numerical advantage following Labasa star Antonio Tuivuna’s sending off to score two late goals to clinch victory.

Siotame Kubu opened Labasa’s account in the 17th minute with an easy tap in after Ilisoni Logaivau corner kick deflected off the post in his path.

Tuivuna was shown the red card in the 70th minute by referee Anit Kumar for violent conduct.

This allowed Ba to push numbers in attack which resulted in Sanaila Waqanicakau scoring back to back goals in the 79th and 81st minute. Labasa coach Ronil Lal classed the result as disappointing saying a few players took a casual approach after going up by a goal.

“We started off well but in the second half Ba came back,” Lal said.

“The boys did not follow the game plan in the second half as they were told to build from the middle and move the ball out. “Ba crowded the midfield and this was what we did to Ba in the first half.

“The boys need to be motivated mentally because some of them were very causal after going up by a goal.

“Any team going down a player gets disadvantaged. With our reshuffle Ba pushed up players and had the numerical advantage so our boys panicked and conceded the two goals.”

Ba manager Ranveer Singh said playing against Labasa was always a hard fought battle.

“We came in with a game plan and the boys played structured football,” Singh.

“At half-time there were a lot of inspirational words relayed to the boys. Former player Malakai Kenahewe was also in the change room.

“We are happy with the result certainly after those two losses to Nasinu and Nadi.”

In today’s matches a double header will be played at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori with Lautoka facing Rewa at 1pm and Nasinu tackling Navua at 3pm.

At 3pm at Prince Charles Park, Nadi will host Suva.

Ba: Isikeli Sevanaia, Kalaveti Sivoi, Malakai Rere, Darold Kakasi, Shivneel Singh, Abbu Zahid, Savenaca Nakalevu, Ilimotama Jese, Samuela Drudru, Sanaila Waqanicakau, Mitieli Naiviro.

Labasa: Akuila Mataisuva, Sitiveni Rakai, Antonio Tuivuna, Ilisoni Lolaivalu, Ashnil Raju, Akeimi Ralulu, Ilisoni Logaivau, Iliesa Lino, Taniela Waqa, Siotame Kubu.

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