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Rakiraki takes NZFFA IDC Trophy in exciting finish

Rakiraki made history by becoming the eighth team to win the prestigious IDC Tournament organised by the NZFFA (formerly known as NZFAFC) over the weekend at Centre Park Stadium on October 28.

It was a long wait for Rakiraki, which is one of the foundation teams of NZFFA.

Other teams that have won the IDC Trophy to date are Tavua, Lautoka Sangam, Savusavu, Lautoka, Rewa, Ba and Nadi.

Rakiraki defeated defending champions Tavua by 1-0 in the final.

Rakiraki scored early from a melee inside the penalty box. The ball was weaved into the box by overseas based Maksim Manko. His shot was saved by Tavua goalkeeper Krith Kumar, only to be tapped in by Rakiraki right midfielder Lawrence Kumar.

Tavua got a chance to get back when Fiji’s golden boy Roy Krishna was felled in the penalty box by Vish Naikar, the centre back for Rakiraki.

Birkenhead captain Sam Jasper stepped up to take the penalty.

Unfortunately for Tavua, the Rakiraki goalkeeper was up to the mark and saved by diving to his right to save the feeble penalty attempt.

Great shape

Rakiraki was the form team throughout the tournament. They started with a hard fought win over plate winners Nadogo, then thrashed Labasa before disposing of five time IDC finalists Rewa to top their group.

Tavua on the other hand accounted for Ba, Seaqaqa and Kadavu.

In the quarterfinals Tavua beat Rewa 2-1, Rakiraki beat first time quarter finalists Kadavu 5-1, Nasinu beat Valerio Nawatu led Suva by 2-1 and in the final quarter final Lautoka beat Nadi by 4-1. In the semi-finals 10 man Tavua beat Nasinu 2-1.

Hugo Littlejohn was expelled for his second yellow of the match.

His absence was felt by Tavua in the final no doubt.

In the second semi-final Rakiraki beat Lautoka by 2-0.

The final was a seesaw affair with Tavua having the better of the first half. A counter attack saw Rakiraki score and Tavua unable to score from the penalty shot.

Tavua failed to win the Tournament three times in a row. The first three-peat was thwarted by Lautoka the next by Rewa and this time by Rakiraki.

A crowd of close to 2000 people witnessed the final.

They were entertained by Ronald Jai.

On a sombre note, the Association remembered the late Farouk Janeman.

Gul Zaman paid tributes to the departed soul and both teams in the Final wore a black arm band as a mark of respect to the Soccer legend.

Editor’s Note: A separate tribute to Farouk Janeman appears in this Section.

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