Premier league: Jetsetters avenge past loss

Ame Votoniu of Nadi and Semi Matalau of Nasinu tussle for the possession during the Vodafone National League clash at Uprising Resort grounds at Pacific Harbour. Nadi won 2-1. Picture: RAMA

THE Nadi football team managed to avenge for their previous loss to Nasinu, winning 2-1 in the Vodafone Premier League at Uprising Sports Centre in Pacific Harbour yesterday.

The state-of-the-art FIFA-recommended football pitch at the Uprising Sports Centre gives no excuses to the players as Nadi took advantage of the opportunity to beat Nasinu in the 11th round of the competition.

The first half of the match was battled in both directions with multiple attempts but were unsuccessful however Nadi’s striker Tito Vodowaqa managed to score their first goal in the 41st minute of play as Nadi lead 1-0 at the halftime break.

However, the second half was a blow for Nasinu as Leone Damudamu received a red card forcing Nadi to take advantage of the situation scoring their second goal through a header by Rusiate Matererega from a corner kick.

Nasinu kept their momentum and pressured the Nadi defence that led to a penalty kick in the box and succeeded by Isikeli Ratucava closing the gap by 2-1 in favour of Nadi but time wasn’t on the Nasinu side as the referee blew the final whistle with Nadi adding another three points on the points table.

Nadi coach Pranesh Amarsee said they needed a win against Nasinu after the previous rounds.

“We needed to win this match because for the past three games against Nasinu, we lost twice and drew once and I’m grateful for the team effort to secure a win this time.

“These boys are a family and that bond keeps them moving forward and we have another important match next week so we will regroup and come back-firing for another tough battle,” said Amarsee.

Meanwhile, despite going down 2-1, Nasinu coach Tagi Vonolagi said the lack of training ground due to unfavorable weather was a contributing factor to their loss.

“We didn’t train for two weeks because their wasn’t any ground available especially in the Nasinu area and we also missed the presence of four key players who weren’t available for this match.

“However, next week if we still lack the availability of the grounds then there’s no choice but to hit the road and prepare for Tavua who will be a strong unpredictable opponent and we will also have the four players available as well,” said Vonolagi.

In the Senior League earlier yesterday at the same venue, Lami thumped Dreketi 6-0.

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