Photo Credit: Fiji Football Association

A drama filled match has seen Rewa FC come from behind to beat Lautoka FC 3-2 after extra time in the OFC Men’s Champions League National Playoffs and will represent Fiji at the OFC Men’s Champion League in Tahiti in May.

The second leg playoff match at the Lautoka’s Churchill Park was sent into extra time after a 95th minute penalty was awarded to Lautoka and was calmly slotted home by Epeli Leiroti to level the scores at 2-2.

There was more drama to come in as Rewa were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute of extra time and Setareki Hughes scored what proved to be the match winning goal.

With heavy rain leading up to kick-off and a cyclone threating to roll in, the rain-soaked pitch posed challenges, with both sides grappling with the waterlogged surface.

Lautoka dominated for large parts of the first half, and scored the only goal of the half in the 18th minute, with a long-range diving header from Saula Waka, from a free kick delivered by Kishan Sami.

The second half saw Rewa pushing hard for an equaliser. It finally came in the 71st minute, with Samu Kautoga heading into the back of the net from a free kick on the edge of the box.

In the 82nd minute a strike from Rewa captain Setareki Hughes saw a deflection for an own goal to send Rewa ahead.

Lautoka’s woes were increased with goal scorer Saula Waqa getting a second yellow card and being sent off in the 89th minute.

Rewa FC will play in Group A of the OFC Men’s Champions League 2024 in Tahiti in May.

Rewa FC: 3 (Samu KAUTOGA 71′, Own Goal 82′, Setareki HUGHES (P) 100′)
Lautoka FC: 2 (Saula WAKA 18′, Epeli LEIROTI (P) 90+5′)

HT: 0-1