2023 BOG | Lions roar … Labasa stuns Ba; set to face Blues in semis

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Nabil Begg in control for Ba against Labasa during their BOG clash at Prince Charles Park in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Labasa football side qualified for the semi-finals of the 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament with the slimmest of margins after defeating Ba 2-1 in their last pool match in Nadi yesterday.

Labasa went into the match needing a two-clear goal victory to top the pool and confirm qualification.

Ba had the upper hand in the early stages and Etonia Dogalau put the Men in Black ahead in the first spell from a counterattack.

Ba led 1-nil at half-time.

Labasa scored through Rusiate Qio and Edwin Sahayam to get a 2-1 win.

Three teams, Suva, Labasa and Rewa were tied on six points, plus two goal difference, four goals forward and two goals against each.

It was then left to the COMET System to decide which team had better Fair Play Points.

Suva had already qualified after the pool matches last month as they had better Fair Play points than Rewa.

Rewa had a total of 10 yellow cards in the tournament while Labasa had five yellow cards and a red card.

Fiji Football Association competitions manager Amitesh Pal said Labasa qualified ahead of Rewa through the Fair Play points system.

“If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the following criteria, that is greatest number of points obtained in each match, goal difference and number of goals scored (GF), then their ranking shall follow on Fair Play points system through fair play points system through COMET thus Labasa qualifies through that.”

Pal added that Rewa had 10 yellow cards and Labasa had five yellow cards plus a red card.

In the semi-finals at the HFC Bank Stadium tomorrow, Lautoka plays Labasa at 2pm while Suva takes on Navua at 4.30pm.

The final is scheduled for 3pm on Sunday.

Labasa:

Simione Tamanisau, Iliesa Lino, Edwin Sahayam, Ilaisa Nayasi, Christopher Wasasala, Ilisoni Lolaivalu, Ashnil Raju, Akeimi Ralulu, Luke Savu, Josua Raqamu, Lekima Gonerau

Ba:

Atunaisa Naucukidi, Praneel Naidu, Rahul Naresh, Darold Kakasi, Sailasa Ratu, Nabil Begg, Ratu Apenisa Anare, Samuela Navoce, Suliano Tawanakoro, Etonia Dogalau, Carlos Raffa

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