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Lautoka downs Nadroga

With a heavy downpour prior to the kickoff, both sides failed to settle well early in the first half as the pitch was in a wet and slippery condition.
Valerio Nawatu and Peni Finau combined well upfront for the Blues creating some good scoring opportunities which were denied by Parmesh Prasad standing under the Nadroga sticks.
It was in the 42 minute when Nadroga’s Gerard Voi handled the ball in his own 18-yard box following Leisari Qalica’s free-kick.
Nawatu did not made any mistake to get his first goal on the score-sheet via a penalty kick as Lautoka led 1-0 at the breather.
The Stallions came back strongly in the second half creating hiccups in the Lautoka defense however the former Nadi rep, who got his transfer back to Lautoka in the recent player transfer window, Iliesa Lino stood tall in the backline.
Nawatu again rose to the occasion to set a floating pass to super-sub Mohammed Shazil Ali, who came off the bench, neatly beat the goalkeeper Parmesh and blasted into an empty net to seal the win for the Blues later in the second half.
Lautoka coach Johnny Williams said his side now has the mindset to fight for the win in every game.
“We have started to fight for the win as I think it’s been long coming for Lautoka,” he said.
“We still not there yet as we getting into the shape but I believe we will do better in our next game.
“Finishing needs improvement and fitness as the players were on a long break after the cyclone.”
Nadroga coach Joseph Nand commended his new set of boys for giving a good challenge.
“We did very well,” Nand stated.
“Every season Nadroga makes a new team, so we have a new set of team again and the players did really well.
“Lautoka played a constructive game and they won.
“The slippery and wet conditions should not be an excuse as our players should also learn to play in the wet conditions.”
The former Fiji and Labasa striker Solomone Catarogo’s son Inia Catarogo made his debut for the Nadroga side.
By ANUSHIL KUMAR

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