The Shop N Save Blues continued to add points in the 2012 Vodafone Fiji FACT by defeating Savusavu 1-0 despite the wet and rainy conditions at Nausori’s Ratu Cakobau Park.
The match saw the return of Simione Tamanisau as Goal Keeper and Maika Waqa starting on the bench.
From the get go the weather was not favorable. Lautoka applied early pressure but failed to score due to some great saves by Savusavu Keeper Emori Rakaboa.
Midway in the first half the weather went from bad to worse as the heavy rain combined with the poor drainage led to pools of water gathering up on the pitch and making it difficult for any constructive football to take place.
Both teams went in to half time locked at 0-0.
The real drama began during the half time break as Fiji FA officials had to make a decision on whether the match would continue or not looking at the bad weather.
Lautoka Football President Shalendra Prasad said he was concerned about the players welfare and that he did not wish for his team to continue playing further taking in mind injury risks that come with playing in conditions like this.
The Fiji FA BOC held an urgent meeting and decided to postpone the Second Half by 15minutes to see if ground conditions improve. Upon evaluation of the pitch by the referees after the 15minute interval, Fiji FA CEO Bob Kumar announced that the match would continue.
Both teams took the field but again found it difficult to create any solid goal scoring opportunities. Midway through second half, Lautoka took the lead through a Peni Finau header resulting from a Simione Tamanisau free kick.
That goal was enough to give Lautoka the 3 points.
Coach Imdad ali was not happy with what transpired today.
“It’s disappointing that we had to play in these conditions.”
“We did not get to exhibit our style of soccer or implement our game plan to the fullest.”
“We were hoping to score more goals coming into this match but the bad weather spoilt our plans.”
“Let’s hope that things improve for the remainder of the tournament,” said Imdad.
Lineup: Simione Tamanisau, Semesa Nakosia, Zibraaz Sahib, Jone Vono, Malakai Waqa, Leone Vurikania, Dave Radrigai, Alvin Avinesh, Peni Finau, Arvin Naidu, Valerio Nawatu
Optimus Fiji Man of the Match: