RUSIATE Matarerega scored twice to guide Nadi to a 3-1 victory against Navua in the Fiji Sun/Skipper Tuna National Football League at Prince Charles Park Saturday.
Navua without several key players held the home side scoreless for 30 minutes before Matarerega rifled in a long range free kick to open the account.
Matarerega doubled Nadi’s advantage four minutes later with a powerful finish from inside the box.
Nadi led 2-0 at the break.
Lekima Gonerau scored from the penalty spot to increase Nadi’s tally in the 56th minute. Many fans expected the floodgates to open after that goal however it wasn’t to be as the Southerner’s tightened the defence.
Vineet Chand scored Navua’s lone goal in the 76th minute.
Sixteen-year-old Viliame Sivo made his debut for Navua under the cross bar in place of top choice stopper Sheik Moshin.
The Vashist Muni College student received a few knocks but showed great courage to play out the 90 minute fixture.
Nadi failed to spark against the minnows wasting a lot of opportunities.
Nadi coach Kamal Swamy said they could not penetrate the crowded Navua defence.
“We had a tough game against the Fiji under-19 side on Wednesday so the boys needed to have some recovery because fatigue had set in,” he said.
“Navua used a very young goalkeeper and took a defensive approach. They had a lot of numbers at the back and this made it hard for our players to penetrate.
“It was hard for them to keep possession on attack. We created many chances but the finishing was not there and we have to improve on that.”
Navua coach Kameli Kilawaca said they missed seven key players.
He said Sivo had a bright future.
“I’m very happy with how the new players performed,” Kilawaca said.
“It was a good platform to launch their district career. Moshin pulled out at the last minute because of injury so we gave Sivo the break. We hope to regroup with the return of the senior players.”
Rajnil Chand, Seveci Rokotakala, Iliesa Lino, Netani Doli, Simione Maikali, Simione Damuni and Rizwan Ali were missing from the Navua line up.
Nadi has two win from as many matches while Navua is winless in the competition.
Suva (Fiji Times)