SUVA defeated Rewa 3-2 in their first match of the 2018 Vodafone Premier League match at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori yesterday.
The heavy downpour failed to dampen the spirit of both the teams, but Suva showed more determination and commitment putting pressure on the Rewa goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau from the early stages of the first half.
Suva’s Ravinesh Karan Singh and Bruce Hughes combined with left midfielder Shahil Dave to create opportunities in the match with Hughes getting the first goal after he tapped the ball into the net following some sloppy play by the Rewa defenders.
The Capital City side extended their lead with a goal to Kaliova Tivulu midway in the second half while Jonetani Buksh scored an easy goal for Rewa before the half time.
Hughes was on target in the second half scoring from a neat curling shot from the right sideline of the Rewa goalmouth.
Policeman Tevita Waranivalu found the net towards the end of the match after he dribbled past Suva goalkeeper Emori Ragata.
“Hard work pays off. We have been preparing for the match from three weeks with the hard training and the boys played their hearts out,” Suva interim coach Riaz Ali said.
“We will go back to the drawing board and work on some of the weaknesses such as crossing the ball to the strikers and players lacked communication while passing the ball.
“We are planning on the league, but it depends on the boys since every match is different.”
Rewa coach Marika Rodu said Suva scored three beautiful goals.
“It was the first match of the year and the players were unfit, but we will progress from here. Our defenders were caught napping today (yesterday) and they allowed Suva attackers to make short passes,” he said.
“We cannot blame the ground conditions because Suva played in the same conditions and they scored three beautiful goals.”
Suva starting team- Emori Ragata, Epeli Leiroti, Waisake Navunigasau, Tomasi Uculoa, Filipe Baravilala, Ivan Kumar, Ravinesh Karan Singh, Kaliova Tivulu, Shahil Dave, Bruce Hughes, Setareki Hughes
Rewa starting team- Simione Tamanisau (C), Peniame Drova, Josateki Tamudu, Posiano Kalisito, Mitieli Namuka, Vuniuci Tikomaimereke, Gabriele Matanisiga, Taione Kerevanua, Tevita Waranivalu, Sairusi Nalaubu, Jonetani Buksh