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Rewa win Fiji league title with last minute goal on dramatic final day

Rewa FC have won the Digicel Premier League 2022 title after a dramatic final day. Photo credit: FFA.

Rewa FC have won Fiji’s Digicel Premier League 2022 by the finest of margins after a final day packed with drama.

Lautoka went into the day top of the league, with Rewa second and Suva, in third, also in with a chance of claiming top spot.

Rewa and Lautoka faced off at Ratu Cakobau Park and with the scores level 1-1 in the final minute Suva looked set to be crowned champions with a win over Nadroga.

However, Rewa captain Setareki Hughes scored in additional time to secure the Delta Tigers their first Premier League triumph.

Speaking after the game, Hughes revealed the inspiration he received from his daughter.

“My preparation for this goal was not only today (Sunday), I have been praying and working hard during training for this goal for my eldest daughter because after losing the final against Labasa in the Battle of the Giants (final), my wife told me that Mere cried after knowing we lost in the final which inspired me to more work harder.”

“So I dedicate my goal to my daughter and the DPL title to all the hardworking Rewa players, officials, and the fans.”

For large parts of the season, it seemed Rewa would win the league comfortably but they struggled for consistency after returning from the OFC Champions League 2022 in New Zealand, allowing Lautoka and Suva to claw their way back into contention.

An emotional Rewa president Nazeel Buksh admitted it has been a tough season but that this was the culmination of a seven-year dream.

“I took over Rewa in 2018 and my aim was to win the league which we all the officials worked together and it’s like a dream come true for all of us,” he told FFA.

“It’s been a pleasure for everyone to be involved in the association and the team and seeing the DPL ending this way, a dramatic weekend, a dramatic minute and seconds, and just a beautiful ending which was a very competitive Digicel Premier League season.”

At the other end of the table Tailevu Naitasiri FC survived relegation after a blitzing 4-0 win over Battle of the Giants winners Labasa in their final game of the season.

The result keeps them above Nasinu FC, who finish bottom of the league.

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