The Babasiga Lions did not have only to deal with Tagi Vonolagi’s Nasinu men as the muddy conditions of Subrail Park were a real obstacle for them to display their normal football style. Ronil Lal and his players knew they were forced to win if they wanted to continue with chances to reach the semi-finals of Fiji FACT – Nasinu also could not lose to keep their chances alive.
Starting without Siotame Kubu upfront, Lal decided to field the experienced Taniela Waqa as striker and the former Fijian international proved a danger for the defensive system of Nasinu led by the young talented defender Sekove Naivakananumi. Nasinu pressed high Labasa and looked dangerous into the first ten minutes of the game, but a hard hit from long distance shown that Labasa was alive in the clash: Antonio Tuivuna sent a free-kick direct to the post of Nasinu to thrill the fans at Subrail Park.
The game was heavily affected due the terrible pitch conditions; still in the first 45 minutes, Labasa took the lead thanks to a deflected shot from Tuivuna. The defender received the ball close to the box after a free-kick and fired away, the ball deflected in Taniela Waqa and went direct to the nets: party on the stands, Labasa is ahead!
In the second half, Labasa came stronger: Ilisoni Logaivau received a fantastic pass and in an one-on-one situation put the ball in the nets to double the lead of the Lions – Nasinu was almost knocked-out. Ten minutes later, a handball in the box made the referee point to the spot to award the home team a penalty-kick. The same Logaivau went to the spot, but his shot was stopped by Nasinu’s Epeli Loaniceva, unfortunately for the goalkeeper the super-sub Melvin Mani was there to fire the rebound into Nasinu’s nets.
Labasa still managed to create possibilities – even an goal was ruled out due offside, the same as Nasinu that also had one goal that was disallowed due offside, but nothing that changed the final outcome of the clash. Nasinu is out, Labasa now heads to a decisive clash against Ba to seal its fate at 2020 Fiji FACT. Unfortuantely for Nasinu’s attacker Marlon Nonone, he was forced to leave the pitch before the final whistle due a injury in his shoulder – the severity of the injury is still uncertain.
You can check the complete standings, results and news about the 2020 Fiji FACT by visiting our session of the competition.