After a dissapointing loss in the O-League last week, Ba has bounced back to beat Lautoka 1-0 in the opening leg of Fiji’s Champion Versus Champion series at Govind Park this weekend.
Striker Osea Vakatalesau was the toast of the Ba side on Saturday as his lone goal proved the only difference between the two teams. The 23 year old Wainibuka native scored in the third minute of play after connecting well with a midfield move and slotting in a neat curler from the left hand edge of the Lautoka box to beat Laisenia Tuba.
Lautoka toiled hard after the goal searching for the equalizer but solid defence and good understanding between the Ba players denied the Blues the chance to get back into the match.
Hardworking striker Valerio Nawatu and Rewa import Kamal Hassan worked tirelessly but were unable to convert. Nawatu copped a red card in injury time after a second booking.
The wet and soggy conditions meant the match was more of a physical battle than a constructive game of football. Referee Andrew Archari needed to be at his best to control the tense encounter between the two arch rivals.
Ba coach Yogendra Dutt was elated with the win and saluted his players for their performance.
“ The match was tough and ground condition did not allow us to play our style of football”.
“Looking at the lineups of both the teams, we had anticipated a great soccer match but much cant be said as the ground conditions was not suited to constructive style of play.”
“It feels really great to win after the loss to Hekari Souths last weekend and we are getting the support back from our loyal fans who were criticizing the team after last weekend’s performance” said Dutt.
Lautoka vice president and team director Krishna Chandra despite the loss is confident the team will bounce back in the next leg.
“ We allowed an easy goal in the beginning of the match which cost us the game.”
“ Our coach Dennis Singh will be back for the next match and should iron out our mistakes before we enter the field for the crucial fixture.”
“ We will regroup and display a completely different pattern and standard of football in our home ground” added Chandra.
The second leg will be played at a later date as Fiji FA is negotiating with Lautoka City Council for the date of the match.
Story courtesy www.fijilive.com