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Champs Labasa on a mission

Labasa defeated Nadroga 2-0 before losing to Suva 1-0 but went to beat Lautoka 2-1 in a do or die match during the pool matches at Subrail Park in Labasa a fortnight ago to qualify for the semi-finals.
The Johan Leewai coached side was the crowd favourite when they hosted the group proceedings and nothing can be taken this weekend as they still have that tag intact.
The Babasiqa Lions last won the Fiji FACT final at Ratu Cakobau Park in 1997 when they played Ba and were crowned joint winners after the match ended in 0-0 draw in the extra time.
Coach Leewai will bank on his young brigade as they take on Nadi in the first semi-final.
“We have a young team,” he said.
“We did not start well and we did not play to expectation. The semi-finals will be tough because that’s where the best four teams will meet. A small mistake can put us out.
There are a lot of expectation on the team to win. We played in front of our fans during the group matches and the people of the North expected us to win.
“Now we are going to Suva and there are a lot of Labasa people in Viti Levu. Nausori is not a lucky ground for us and our people in Viti Levu will expect us to win. We will continue training and plan well against Nadi because they would be very, very strong,” he said.
Meanwhile Labasa president Rayaz Khan has clarified reports concerning the four players who were dropped from the squad for the 2016 Vodafone Fiji FACT semi-final matches.
Crafty midfielder Taione Kerevanua, striker Inia Boko, Christpher Wasalasala and utility Leone Damudamu were reported being dropped after the allegations of breaking the team camp and going for a drinking party.
Khan told Fiji FA Media the report was false and no one was dropped from the squad.
“All the players mentioned were in camp and no such incident took place. This is not correct at all. The players are in the camp and they would surely be considered for the semi-final matches.”
Khan said the preparation were going as planned.
Striker Christpher Wasasala will be the only player to miss the semi-final after receiving two yellow cards in the pool games.
The Labasa vs Nadi match will kick off at 3pm at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.

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