The Lautoka Football side has become the first team from Fiji to confirm their spot in the OFC Champions League next year.
This was after the Kamal Swamy-coached side defeated Suva 2-0 in their deciding fixture at Rau Cakobau Park last week.
Defender Poasa Bainivalu struck first in the game as his clearance from his own 18-yard box was mistimed by Suva goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau which landed into the net before Solomon import Benjamin Totori sealed the win in the second half.
Lautoka Football Association president Abdul Kadar was ecstatic with the win and commended the boys for getting spot in the OFC Champions League once again next year.
“We feel really happy to have qualified for the 2019 OFC Champions League. We had a very good outing this year and our aim from the beginning was to qualify for OFC Champions League and be consistent with our performance.
“We now look forward to next seasons OFC Champions league and soon the executives will meet together to draw up our plan as there is a lot of planning and preparations required if you are to be competitive with best clubs from the Oceania,” Kadar said.
He said competing with the best clubs in the Oceania competition is not an easy task and the boys have known this from their experience in this year’s competition.
“They would now know better the level of sacrifice and commitment that is required to be best in the Oceania.
“Like I said we did have a good outing this year and being the 2nd best team in the Oceania region was itself a great achievement for the boys. I am sure the boys would love to go one better and will try their best to become the best in the Oceania.”
Lautoka is one point away from retaining the Vodafone Premier League title.
“We will treat our last match in the VPL as we had been treating all our games this season. We have not won the title which we want to retain so we will keep our preparations going as we know the competition this year has been very tough and Rewa will be a tough team and we look forward to doing well against them and retain our champions status.”
In other results, Ba outclassed Rewa 3-0 at Govind Park while Nadi registered their first win against Tavua edging them 1-0 at Prince Charles Park.