Sukuna Bowl: Police too strong in football

Etonia Dogalau of Police battles for possession against Army's Christopher Wasasala during the FMF Ratu Sukuna Bowl soccer tournament at Bidesi Grounds in Laucala Bay, Suva on Thursday, November 24, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Police side retained the FMF Ratu Sukuna Bowl football title after defeating Army 3-1 at the Buckhurst Park in Laucala Bay, Suva yesterday.

Army started well and had a few opportunities from set pieces but failed to capitalise on them.

Army captain Christopher Wasasala tried hard but found himself usually isolated while on attack.

It was a see-saw battle until an individual effort broke the deadlock.

With two minutes to go until half-time, Meli Codro beat a couple of Army defenders before laying it off for Tevita Waranivalu.

Waranivalu came in with a pile driver of a shot, giving Army stopper Epeli Loaniceva no chance of stopping it.

The Rewa midfielder was in the mix of things minutes later when he placed a through ball for Sunny Deol on the right flank.

Deol put in a first time cross inside the Army box, giving Abbu Zahid a simple tap in for Police’s second goal.

The team’s rested with Police leading 2-nil at halftime.

Police had a number of opportunities in the second spell to put the game to bed but Loaniceva made sure he kept his team in the game.

Wasasala kept trying to bring Army back into the match and was rewarded when he was fouled inside the penalty box.

He stepped up and successfully converted the penalty to reduce the deficit to 1-2.

Police made some tactical changes and it proved to be the difference when substitute Ratu Anare scored in the 85th minute to seal the deal for the Blues.

Police captain Akuila Mateisuva thanked his players for the win.

“It is never easy playing against our brothers from the Army camp but we are glad we successfully defended out title.

“It has been a busy past few weeks for the boys as we had a tough task in selecting the squad,” Mataeisuva said.

Army captain Wasasala said they lost to a better team.

“We had good preparations but I guess we just fell short in the end.

Hats off to our boys who kept the fighting spirit and never gave up,” said Wasasala.

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