Marist FC bows out in OFC semis after 1-0 defeat

Lautoka’s Drave Radrigai passes the ball past Marist’s Iniga, and Iani.

Marist FC are out of the OFC champions league after a 1-0 defeat to Fijian champions, Lautoka FC at Lawson Tama today.

In a tough encounter in front of a packed Lawson Tama crowd, Marist had more chances in the first half but failed to convert into points.

Both teams went to half time nill all.

The second half saw more exciting football from both teams but it was Lautoka’s Praneel Naidu who broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute to put the visitors ahead.

Despite several attempts Marist in the final stages of the game, Lautoka stood their ground and held on to progress to the grand final.

Lautoka’s Benamino Mateinaqara and Benjamin Totori comforts Marist’s John Iani.

Despite their defeat, Marist Coach Jerry Allen praised his team’s efforts, and how far the club has progressed in the competition.

“I’m really happy with the boys, even-though we have inexperienced players, we still manage to reach the semi final,” he said.

“Its a major breakthrough for the club, which hopefully will give experience and prepare our boys for next season.”

Meanwhile Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy said his team gave everything , which resulted in the win.

“Our team gave 100% because we knew we were down on goal average so we knew we have to come and win here,” he said.

“Marist is a great team and people over here are full of football.”

He said they faced Team Wellington before, and are confident they would be ready to take them on again in the grand final.

Lautoka FC will meet New Zealand’s Team Wellington in the grand final.

 

By: Lowen Sei.

 

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