Great send-off for City coach
Auckland City farewelled head coach Colin Tuaa with a 3-1 win against Hawke’s Bay in the New Zealand Football Championship on Sunday.
Tuaa’s resignation was a surprise announcement before the match.
He opted to stand down from his post for personal reasons just as City regained the top of the NZFC table, after losses in their two previous games.
They now lead the competition on goal difference from Waikato FC and YoungHeart Manawatu after five rounds.
The outgoing coach saw his team dominate proceedings early on in the match at Kiwitea Street, before getting stung by a counter-attacking Leon Birnie goal on the quarter-hour.
Hawke’s Bay held that advantage until half-time, but 10 minutes into the second spell, the visitors found themselves trailing on the scoreboard thanks to a goal from Chad Coombes and a Paul Urlovic penalty.
The visitor’s coach, Jonathan Gould, made his thoughts about the refereeing in the match clear to the officials and was sent to the stand for his troubles.
While striker Grant Young missed a chance to increase City’s advantage further, Urlovic sealed the victory 10 minutes from time, sending a cheeky back-heel home thanks to a Matt Williams cross.
City face a tough task next week when they put their NZFC affairs aside to concentrate on the Oceania Champions League.
They travel to Vanuatu late this week to take on Port Vila Sharks in the Port Vila Municipal Stadium from 4pm on Saturday.
Winning ways: Auckland City goal-scorer Paul Urlovic celebrates with the fans after their 3-1 victory over Hawke’s Bay in the New Zealand Football Championship on Sunday.