The Nadi FC head coach Shalen Lal was impressed with his young goalkeeper Tevita Ravia filling the big shoes of Vereti Dickson in its 1-1 draw against Moshin’s Insulation Nadroga FC in the Digicel Premier League encounter at Prince Charles Park on Sunday.
Dickson was named in the starting lineup, however, he was pulled out because of a knee injury and young Ravia stepped up as his replacement.
Lal said they would have lost the game if it was not Ravia’s save just before the final whistle.
“A setback for us was an injury to our goalkeeper Vereti Dickson but then our young goalkeeper Tevita played really well.
“He filled in the big shoes of Dickson and of course we would have lost this game if it was not for Tevita in the last minute.
“Psychologically we were disturbed because all this while we were preparing Vereti and just five minutes before the game he injured his knee and we had to pull him off.
“But hats off to young Tevita and that’s exactly what Nadi will be doing this year developing players,” Lal said.
He said he did not agree with the red card call.
“I would say I’m satisfied with the one point but then from the coaching view I think the match wasn’t controlled very properly.
“I will not agree with that red card and probably from my coaching point of view, I’m not blaming anyone, but whatever we planned didn’t work and probably the result would have been different if there was no red card and the infringements that were against us.”
Nadi will now shift its focus to face Ba at Prince Charles Park this Sunday.
“Now we’ll have to prepare very well because we will not have Serevi Waqa and William Valentine, two of our strong players in defense and midfield.
“We need to prepare very well for Ba because we know they are a champion team.”
The match is scheduled to kick off at 3pm.