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Upsets mark second round of Fiji national league

SUVA: There were stunning upsets during the second round of action in the Fiji national soccer league last weekend. There were losses for league giants Nadi and Suva while Ba was taken to the wire before escaping with a 1-1 draw against Nadroga.

The Suva team were stunned by Nasinu 2-1 in a match they were expected to win, particularly with such high profile players like Fijian international striker Thomas Vulivuli in their ranks. The loss was a wake-up call not just for Suva but the rest of the super premier teams.

In the match of the round, Ratu Cakobau Park played host to a thrilling encounter between the home side Rewa and Nadi who were bolstered by the presence of the Toma brothers, Viliame and Veresa, reunited and giving the visitors an easy physical edge.

However, disaster struck just minutes after kick-off as Veresa, the giant striker and captain of the national u-23 side, limped off with a leg injury. Despite this, Nadi managed to score first through Viliame Toma.

The fired up Rewa side buoyed on by their large home support hit back through a Henry Nair, whose header came from a brilliant cross from Waisake Sabutu. Both sides went into the break drawn level at 1-1 all.

In the second half, Emosi Belinuku gave Rewa a 2-1 lead just minutes after the break with a well worked goal. Nadi’s Ovini Duguca got his side back on even terms with his opportunist striker moments later. From then on it was a deadlock to the end. However in stoppage time, Rewa hit the winner despite protests the referee had allowed too much stoppage time.

Lautoka announced their claims as a possible contender with a commanding 6-0 victory over hapless Labasa. Shakil Khan got a hat-trick with Taniela Waqa, former Ba standout Osea vakatalesau and Sumit Shankar also scoring.

In the other second round result, Navua beat Tavua 2-1.

Round 2 – National League results

Rewa 3-2 Nadi

Ba 1-1 Nadroga

Lautoka 6-0 Labasa

Navua 2-1 Tavua

Nasinu 2-1 Suva

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