Nadi downs Ba, third on league table

Nadi’s Napolioni Qasevakatini reacts after missing a chance to score against Ba during their Vodafone Premier League match at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on Wednesday night. The Jetsetters walloped the Men in Black 5-1 to give the Ba team its second loss in the league. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Hosts Nadi walloped defending Vodafone Premier League champion Ba 5-1 at Prince Charles Park on Wednesday evening to move to third position on the points table on goal differential.

The Jetsetters survived Ba’s early charge with goalkeeper Vereti Dickson making two magnificent saves in the first ten minutes which proved to be the vital turning point in the fixture.

Nadi took control thereafter and never looked back as the Ba defence crumbled.

Afraz Ali’s thunderous drive from 35 metres dipped in over Ba goalkeeper Isikeli Sevanaia in the 30th minute for Nadi’s opener.

Seven minutes later Sakaraia Naisua nodded in a timely corner kick from captain and former Ba rep Avinesh Suwamy to make it 2-0.

Ba pulled one back on the resumption of the second spell following Manasa Nawakula’s penalty.

However Nadi kept up the momentum with Naisua scoring his double in the 60th minute while striker Napolioni Qasevakatini got the fourth two minutes later.

Ba’s Jonetani Newa was sent off the field in the 72nd minute after picking up his second yellow card and substitute Navneel Nand sealed the win for the home team when his attempt took a deflection off a Ba defender landing in the back of the net in the 79th minute.

Nadi coach Kamal Swamy said his boys seemed to be fired up after the 1-0 loss to Labasa last Saturday.

Swamy praised Dickson’s heroics saying it would have been a totally different ball game had they conceded the early goals.

“Ba always starts strongly in every match and I think Vereti was outstanding in the first seven minutes which helped us to win this game,” he said.

“But then nothing should be taken away from Ba as they missed some good players however their youngsters played well.”

Ba missed the services of lanky striker Saula Waqa and defender Ilimotama Jese.

This was Ba’s second consecutive loss in the VPL after going down 2-0 to minnow’s Nasinu last Saturday.

Ba team manager Ranveer Singh said they knew that the encounter against Nadi was going to be tough.

He said they started off strongly but lost the plot after the first quarter.

“We don’t want to blame anything but we are disappointed with the result as we conceded five goals,” Singh said.

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