BOG 2023 | Stage all set … Top teams gear up for semi-finals battle

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Labasa’s Matelita Vuakoso fires a shot at the Nadi goal mouth during the Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice-Cream Women’s Battle of the Giants tournament at the HFC Back Stadium in Suva yesterday. Labasa won 2-nil. In another match, Ba beat Rewa 3-nil. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The stage is set for the semi-finals of the second major tournament of the year on the Fiji Football Association calendar, the 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice-Cream Battle of the Giants at the HFC Bank Stadium in the Capital City today.

In a tournament, which has lasted more than a month with the first set of pool games played from August 11-13 in Nadi, fans will finally get to see the top four teams in action.

Labasa, which qualified to the semi-finals with the slimmest of margins, faces a mammoth task in the form of high flying Lautoka in the first battle at 2pm.

The two teams also met in the semi-final of the Fiji FACT tournament where eventual winners Lautoka beat the Babasiga Lions 2-nil.

Labasa will be hoping to bounce back and with the backing of the crowd, the northerners will be looking to spring a surprise against tournament favourites Lautoka.

In the second semi-final, the tournament’s dark horse Navua will be up against a strong Suva side.

Suva have not lost to Navua since the latter gained promotion to the top league in 2018.

However, Suva will be wary that Navua had not defeated either since 2018, until the last pool match of the tournament when the Jetsetters suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to the southerners.

The second semi-final kicks off at 4.30pm. Fiji FA competitions manager Amitesh Pal said fans could expect two thrillers in the semi-finals today.

“We have two great games in the form of semi-finals lined up.

“With two Southern teams and of course Labasa’s fan base in the south, we expect a bumper crowd to turn up. Let’s see which two teams make it to the final,” Pal said.

The final is scheduled for 3pm tomorrow at the same venue.

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