India crashes and burn in Ba
Fiji soccer powerhouse Ba defeated the India national soccer team 1-0 in front of a 6000-plus home crowd at Govind Park as the Indians began their three match tour of Fiji.
The Men in Black scored in the 12th minute of the second half and clung on to their lead, as a reduced 10 men squad fought off a final quarter surge from the Indians to keep the visitors scoreless.
The game lived up to expectation, and the 6000 plus spectators were treated to a fast and entertaining game that often brought the crowd to their feet.
India had more attacking and scoring opportunities but evergreen goalkeeper Isikeli Seva, playing his 55th first grade game for Ba, stood his ground to deny the visitors any points.
Both side defended well with the two goalkeepers pulling out all the stops with their daredevil saves.
After a scoreless first half, Ba coach Semi Tabaiwalu reminded his players to stick to their game plan and to put more pressure on the visitors.
The half time pep talk, paid off and in the 12th minute of play DAV Boys school student Malakai Tiwa slotted in a powerful ground ball from a Shalen Lal corner kick.
National coach Lee Sterrey saluted the brave effort by the hosts side admitting that Ba’s style of football is the best in the country.
He said although the bulk of the side were not released from the national side there was still depth and experience on the bench.
Ba 1-0 India
Goals: 1-0 Malakai Tiwa (58′)
Kick-off time: 18.00 local time (11.30 IST / 08.00 CET)
Venue: Govind Park, Ba
Ba: Isikeli Seva, Malakai Kainihewe, Johnny Rao, Shalen Lal, Roneel Kumar, Robert Wise, Tuimasi Manoca, Malakai Tiwa, Joeli Ranitu, Jone Vesikula, Nuimaia Tagi
India: VP Satish Kumar; Irungbam Surkumar Singh (6?’ Yumlembam Raju Singh), Selwyn Fernandes, Naduparambil Pappachan Pradeep, Manju Nanjangud Shivananju; Shylo Malswam Tulunga (46′ Manjit Singh), Sukhjinder Singh (60′ Sukhwinder Singh), Shanmugam Venkatesh, Debabrata Roy (46′ Subhas Chakraborty); Sunil Chetri (79′ Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh), Vimal Pariyar
Referee: Rakesh Varman (Fiji)
Cautions: Shanmugam Venkatesh (62′ India)
Expulsions:Joeli Ranitu (78′ Fiji)
For more information on the India tour and the Fiji FA visit www.fijifootball.com