Super sub Nabenia saves Rewa

February 23, 2023 9:14 pm

[Source: Fiji Football/Facebook]

A dying seconds goal saved Design Marine Services Rewa from defeat against Rams Cleaning Services/All Freight Logistics Suva in the OFC Champions League National Play-Off.

Trailing 1-0 going into the last minute of the second half extra time, substitute Samuela Nabenia found the back of the net through a header.

The away goal rule doesn’t apply in the playoff which means the second leg on Sunday will be decided in extra time and penalties if the match ends in a draw at full-time.

Article continues after advertisement

The game was played under wet conditions but both sides managed to treat the close to 1000 fans to some fine football despite the challenging playing conditions.

Heavy rain started from the first whistle and continued throughout the first 45 minutes.

Suva had the first scoring opportunity when Azariah Soromon’s shot was tapped away by Rewa goalkeeper Emori Ragata inside the first quarter.

However, Rewa missed three chances, first a free kick from Setareki Hughes then a low drive by Tevita Waranivalu missed while Abbu Zahid’s header was saved by Akuila Mateisuva, the Suva keeper with a scoreless first half.

The skies cleared in the second spell and brought the game to life as well with Soromon missing a golden opportunity due to some good goalkeeping by Ragata and Rewa’s replacement player Samuela Nabenia had his shot pushed away by Mateisuva.

Soromon brought the Suva fans to their feet when he rifled home the first goal in the 61st minute.

Suva’s goalscorer was later substituted by Rusiate Matererega after being injured.

The second national playoff leg will be played at 3pm on Sunday at the HFC Bank Stadium.