One of the biggest sporting events of New Zealand Fiji community Pacific Cup 2019 was hosted in the last week on November that saw Fiji’s team Lautoka lifting the trophy again this year defending their title against aspiring Labasa Football Club from Fiji. In the Pacific 40’s Cup, New Zealand Nadro Masters became the champions defeating NZ Rewa Masters in the finale on December 1.

Hosted at the Home of Fiji Soccer, Bill McKinlay Park in Mt Wellington, ten teams participate in the tournament five each in Pool A & B for the main trophy, and the 40’s Cup category has seven teams. Traditional teams such as Lautoka, Labasa, Suva and Nadi took part in the competition playing against players from overseas nations.

Lautoka FC received $10,000 as the winning prize besides lifting the 2019 trophy while runner-up Labasa FC received $3000. 40’s Cup winners NZ Nadro Masters received $2000 as winning prize money and NZ Rewa Masters $1000 for being on number 2 at the finale.

“Two Ni-Vanuatu players, Alex Saniel and Jason Thomas helped the team in blue to win the cup,” OceaniaFootballCentre website reported.

Saniel (left) and Thomas (right) helped Lautoka to win once more the Pacific Cup (Photo: OceaniaFootballCentre website)

The event hosted over five days in Auckland by New Zealand Fiji Football Inc. was a massive success with hundreds of football fans turning up on all days of the matches, especially the grand finale.

 “This event was from the word go meant to be a great success with the participation of seventeen teams and the support of the patrons who came out in numbers to get behind their teams follow their progress through the tournament,” Secretary of NZFFI, Mohammed Asaf told The Indian Weekender.

“New Zealand Fiji Football Inc. as the host of Pacific Cup 2019 didn’t leave any stones unturned in terms of preparation and presentation of this event, and this was well noted and received by everyone present at the tournament.

“In the first semifinal, Labasa faced AUFFI All-Stars and won with a goal scored by Siotame Kubu in the last minute of the extra time to advance through the final match,” OceaniaFootballCentre website read.

“Lautoka won the final by 1-0 (goal scored by Samuela Gavo) and lifted the Pacific Cup’s trophy for the second straight year,” the blog site noted.

Lautoka FC players huddle at Pacific Cup 2019 in Auckland (Photo: OceaniaFootballCentre website)

The Pacific Cup & Pacific 40’s Cup 2020 is scheduled to be hosted in Fiji Islands from November 24 to 29 by America Fiji Sports Commission.

“NZFFI, board members, the board of control members and the entire organising committee which is overall volunteers, sacrificed a lot of time and effort for this event and the success of this event has given all these individuals the satisfaction of their commitment and sacrifices.

“This event was purely organised for the community to enjoy and witness Fijian Football in their own backyard and NZFFI is pleased to have played host to this event,” ” Mr Asaf added.

With the finalisation of Pacific Cup 2019, NZFFI is now preparing to host the International Veterans Football Championship in February 2020 where team from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia will participate in three categories namely grade 35, grade 40 and grade 45. This event is organised for the players of yesteryears to come and display their talents to the public at large.

Full scorecard of Pacific Cup 2019

DAY 1 – 27 NOVEMBER
Auckland All Stars 2-4 USA All Stars
Lautoka 2-0 Suva

DAY 2 – 28 NOVEMBER
Suva 0-2 USA All Stars
Lautoka 1-2 AUFFI All Stars

DAY 3 – 29 NOVEMBER
Lautoka 4-0 Auckland All Stars
Suva 0-1 AUFFI All Stars

DAY 4 – 30 NOVEMBER
Auckland All Stars 0-5 AUFFI All Stars
Lautoka 3-1 USA All Stars
Suva 2-0 Auckland All Stars
AUFFI All Stars 2-0 USA All Stars

GROUP B

DAY 1 – 27 NOVEMBER
Nadi 0-1 NZFFI All Stars
Labasa 1-0 Northshore All Stars

DAY 2 – 28 NOVEMBER
Nadi 3-2 Northshore All Stars
Labasa 2-0 Victoria All Stars

DAY 3 – 29 NOVEMBER
Nadi 1-0 Labasa
NZFFI All Stars 4-1 Victoria All Stars

DAY 4 – 30 NOVEMBER
Victoria All Stars 1-12 Northshore All Stars
Nadi 4-0 Victoria All Stars
Labasa 2-0 NZFFI All Stars
NZFFI All Stars 2-1 Northshore All Stars

SEMIFINALS
Lautoka 3-1 Nadi
Labasa 1-0 AUFFI All Stars (at extra time)

FINAL
Lautoka 1-0 Labasa