Football fans in Fiji were expecting a good contest in the 2020 Battle of Giants group stage – high expectations were put in the shoulders of Rewa and Suva players as they were claimed to be the two heavy favourites of the tournament. Despite having problems in the first stage, Suva proceeded to the semi-finals while Rewa got the second place in the Group B to also grant a spot in the next stage.
The hosts Lautoka were knocked-out with three defeats as Ba topped the Group A, but had only one victory in the process. If all these four teams could not have a good competition, maybe it was time for the reigning champions Labasa to shine. Indeed, the Babasiga Lions could not play as expected from them in the tournament and were also knocked-out in the group stage. The question is: which district played the best football so far? Well, for those who did not expect, it is Nadi.
The side coached by Kamal Swamy did not have any problems to surpass Navua in the opener of Battle of Giants as they smashed the opponents by 4-1. In the team second match, the Green Machine faced a strong Rewa side by a thunderbolt finish from Afraz Ali gave the win for the Jetsetters and the team final match in the pool they took on the hosts Lautoka – despite suffering an equaliser in the late stages of the game, captain Avinesh Suwamy was able to score in the final minutes to secure another win for Nadi.
Suwamy, a legend of football in the country, guided Nadi to its best performances so far in the season. The captain scored a hattrick in its final match against Lautoka – a total of four in the group stage – to give the team three wins in three matches. Nadi also have important players available for the coach Swamy, as Ame Votoniu, Sakaraia Naisua, Rusiate Matarerega and Navneel Nand.
Team captain, Avi is the current Fiji’s top goalscorer of the year with eight goals counting all senior tournaments played in the country. Despite being not an offensive player primarly, the 34-year-old midfielder is a key member of Swamy’s team that impressed everyone with its results in the BOG group stage. The strong Suva team that will take on Nadi in the semi-finals of the tournament will certainly need to take a look on Nadi’s performances and key players and seek for a strategy on how to stop the Green Machine.
One thought on “Green Machine: captain Avinesh Suwamy put Nadi at high level again”