City premier­ship win caps su­perb sea­son

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

There’s an­other tro­phy for the sil­ver­ware cabi­net at Ki­witea Street.

San­dring­ham-based foot­ball club Auck­land City FC just keep dom­i­nat­ing and their dream sea­son con­tin­ues, with an­other ASB Premier­ship foot­ball ti­tle to their name.

Easter Sun­day’s 2-1 grand fi­nal victory over Hawke’s Bay United was an­other spe­cial mo­ment.

The faith­ful fans have been treated to a dom­i­nant dis­play from their side this sea­son, from their third­place fin­ish at the Fifa Club World Cup in De­cem­ber, fol­lowed by 13 wins from 14 matches in the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Coach Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx says the team thor­oughly de­served the ti­tle and it has been a ride that they couldn’t have done with­out their loyal sup­port­ers.

‘‘They’re al­ways fan­tas­tic and they come in big num­bers.’’ But the job is not done yet. City kick off their OFC Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle de­fence against Suva in Fiji on April 11, which will be a whole dif­fer­ent beast again.

‘‘It’s early days and this is the num­ber one com­pe­ti­tion for us,’’ Tribu­li­etx says.

There will be plenty to re­flect on from the ASB Premier­ship fi­nal, which ac­tu­ally didn’t start well for the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

The Navy Blues found them­selves down 1-0 af­ter Hawke’s Bay were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute af­ter City’s Os­car Garcia in­fringed.

Ryan Tins­ley calmly slot­ted the penalty to put the Bay in front, leav­ing City down a goal.

But any con­cerns the hosts would be be­hind for long were put aside, as new All Whites for­ward Ryan de Vries nailed the equaliser in the 38th minute.

City kicked it up a gear in the sec­ond half, be­fore Marko Dorde­vic headed home a 62nd minute Dar­ren White free kick for what would be the win­ner.

De Vries, who lives in Glen­field and works part- time in Eller­slie, topped off a mem­o­rable week with the All Whites.

The 23-year-old has won a few ti­tles from his time at Waitakere and Auck­land and says ev­ery one has been spe­cial.

‘‘Com­ing to Auck­land City, ev­ery­thing they do is very pro­fes­sional. To be re­warded with a ti­tle is spe­cial.’’

Photo: PHOTOTEK

Auck­land City won the ASB Premier­ship foot­ball ti­tle 2-1.

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