Ba FC successfully retained their Inter-District Championship title after beating Labasa 2-1 in a thrilling final at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji last week.
Fiji international and Ba captain Koleta Likuculacula was hugely influential in her side’s victory, scoring the opening goal in the 19th minute of play and the winner in extra-time.
Despite a winning contribution, which also saw her pick up the Golden Ball award, Likuculacula remained adamant success was a team effort.
“First of all I would like to thank the man above for giving us the strength to fight till the final whistle,” she said.
“I thank all the players, coaches, officials and fans for their support, hard work and dedication which was the strength for us to defend the title.”
For Likuculacula, helping the Women-in-Black to their eighth IDC victory allowed her to add a tick to her career achievements.
“It is an awesome achievement for me to score two goals in the final and it was sweeter when I was named the Player of the Tournament,” she said.
As well as the IDC play-off matches, for the first-time former women’s footballers took to the field for an exhibition match with the Veteran’s Trophy up for grabs.
The Western Ferns took on the Southern Roses in a curtain raiser to the final, which Fiji Football Association women’s vice-president Susan Wise said was a wonderful opportunity to bring former footballers back into the fray.
“We want to make this challenge annually so the women can train and keep themselves fit and healthy,” Wise said.
“It was fun and everybody enjoyed the match.”
The two teams were inseparable at full-time with the 1-1 score line sending them towards a penalty shootout. Western Ferns triumphed 3-2 to lift the inaugural Veteran’s Trophy.
Adding to the women’s football festival on offer during the IDC final, Fiji FA executive board member Nazia Ali Krishna using the opportunity to announce a potential expansion to the Vodafone Women’s Senior League for 2021.
“Currently we have 16 teams participating in the league and with the inclusion of Rakiraki and Nadogo, who have expressed interest in joining the competition, it will be 18 teams from next year,” she said.
Fiji FA are looking at new initiatives to grow participation and Krishna said the league expansion is just one aspect of the association’s plans.
“We are going to communities to expose this sport and to get more participation,” she said.
“We will be introducing a Women’s Super League which will be played as a tier one competition in which six teams will participate, while the rest of the teams will compete in the tier two competition.”