Tuivuna out of Blues

Viti Water Flow Lautoka football team Antonio Tuivuna, 16, in control against Esy Kool Nadi’s Samuela Gavo during the Digicel Premier League encounter at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Picture: FIJI FA/FILE

The Viti Water Flow Lautoka team will miss the services of star defender Antonio Tuivuna for the top of the table Digicel Premier League clash against Suva the ANZ Stadium this Sunday.

Tuivuna is on automatic suspension after being sent off in the previous DPL match against Ba copping two yellow cards. Lautoka leads the competition with 23 points from ten matches while Suva is second with 17 points from 11 games.

Dubbed as the battle of the two cities, the fixture is crucial for both teams in the race for the 2021 DPL title.

Lautoka Football Association board member Abdul Kadar said mathematically the race for the DPL was wide open despite their lead on the points table.

Kadar said they could not afford to drop any points if they wanted to win the competition “In the last match against Ba, the red card put us under a bit of pressure,” he said.

“Discipline always plays a key factor in winning matches. “We cannot afford to be penalized for silly play especially in crucial games.”

Lautoka defeated Suva 1-0 on match day five back in April. Striker Sairusi Nalaubu scored the lone goal in that fixture in the 36th minute.Suva has been in top form in their past two matches defeating Navua 2-0 and thrashing Nadi 4-0. Kadar said Suva with the backing of their home fans will be a hard nut to crack. ”

Coach Imdad Ali has been working on the game plan during the training session this week that he hopes to use against Suva,” he said.

“Our team is injury free but the side that is well prepared will hold the upperhand.

There will be a double header at the ANZ Stadium on Sunday with Labasa taking on Nadi at 1pm followed by the Suva v Lautoka fixture at 3pm.

Also at 3pm on Sunday, Ba will host Navua at Churchill Park in Lautoka while Nadroga will play Rewa at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.

Today at 7pm at the ANZ Stadium, Labasa will take on Navua. |

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