Ba closes in on title
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 August 2012 08:56


DEFENDING Fiji Sun/GP Batteries National Football League champions Ba is on track to retaining its title after beating Navua 2-0 at Govind Park yesterday.

Fresh from winning the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants a fortnight ago, the Men in Black showed no signs of slowing down by edging out a gritty Navua side by dominating possession.


Navua took a very defensive approach in the encounter crowding their box.

Lautoka's Abbu Zahid Shaheed made his debut for Ba and missed two sitters. There wasn't much spark in the match played in front of some 300 spectators.

Ba coach Yogendra Dutt said they did just enough to get a positive result.

"After a hard tournament, we have resumed the NFL on a high note," Dutt said.

"It was a positive result and the much needed thing was the three points. We want to maintain continuity. We tried some boys. We wanted to see them play in certain roles.

"I'm satisfied with what I saw. Most of the Navua players crowded the box. A huge scoreline does not indicate the strength or weakness of the team."

"We will take each game at a time. We don't want to jump to a conclusion that we are the NFL champions. There are many games remaining."

Australia Institute of Sports coaching instructor George Singh, who has been helping Navua, said they failed to get enough possession.

He said Navua put in the strong defensive effort but it wasn't enough.

"A strong performance but we weren't playing the football that I would have liked," Singh said.

"I just had three days with the boys. We have to start playing possession football. We played a very archaic formation. The facilities are a major problem in Navua."

Tuimasi Manuca scored the opener for the home-side in the 26th minute following Manueli Kalou's pass.

Ba led 1-0 at halftime.

Malakai Tiwa doubled Ba's advantage in the 69th minute, nodding in Rinal Prasad's cross.

Referee Dina Mani flashed yellow cards to Remeure Takiata (Ba), Jone Vesikula (Ba), Praneel Kumar (Navua) and Sireli Vosa (Navua).


Ba: Ratu Jone Gasaubalavu, Remeure Tekiata, Jone Vesikula, Manueli Kalou, Marika Rabonakadavu, Ronil Kumar, Rinal Prasad, Avinesh Suwamy, Malakai Tiwa, Tuimasi Manuca, Abbu Zahid.

Navua: Rusiate Amasia, Praneel Kumar, Vineet Chand, Peni Nabete, Rajnil Chand, Sailosi Livatalo, Siga Ali, Jesoni Takala, Ronald Rao, Jesoni Takala, Joseph Elder, Sireli Vosa.


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