BOG 2023 | Lions roar … Labasa successfully defends title

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The victorious Labasa team celebrates after defeating Navua in the Cup final of the Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Sunday, Sep 17, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Extra Supermarket Labasa football side successfully defended the Rooster Chicken/ Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants title defeating Southern Forest Navua 2-1 in extra time in the final yesterday.

Fans from both teams flocked to the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva in numbers and the two teams did not disappoint.

After a goal less first spell, Christopher Wasasala headed Labasa ahead with a header from an Edwin Sahayam corner kick in the 67th minute.

Christopher Wasasala of Labasa on attack against Navua’s Vineet Chand in the Cup final of the Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Sunday, Sep 17, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Navua didn’t take too long to respond.

Four minutes later, Jared Rongosulia levelled the scores from the penalty spot after Jackson Wale was fouled inside the Labasa box.

Thomas Dunn could have won it for Navua three minutes from time when he neatly beat two Labasa defenders inside the penalty box but came in with a soft strike which Labasa stopper Simione Tamanisau didn’t have much trouble in saving.

The match was forced into extra-time after both teams were tied 1-all after full-time.

Rusiate Doidoi came in with the winner two minutes into the first spell when the Navua defence failed to clear a loose ball inside its penalty area.

Doidoi came in with a powerful strike which Navua stopper Viliame Sivo had no chance of putting out.

Labasa held on for a 2-1 victory in the end.

Wasasala won the Player of the Tournament award, while Tamanisau scooped the Golden Glove award.

Labasa goalkeeper and captain, Simione Tamanisau receives his golden glove award from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Prof. Biman Prasad after the Cup final against Navua in the Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Sunday, Sep 17, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Lautoka striker Sairusi Nalaubu scooped the Golden Boot award.

Meanwhile, Nasinu will feature in the Premier Division next year after defeating Savusavu 2-nil in the Senior Division playoff.

Nasoni Mereke and Jonetani Buksh scored in the win.

The Ba women’s team won the inaugural Women’s Battle of the Giants title defeating Labasa 5-4 in the final round robin match yesterday.

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