City FC could lose coach

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL and BREN­DON EGAN

AUCK­LAND City FC have once again booked their spot in the Fifa Club World Cup. But New Zealand’s most suc­cess­ful foot­ball side could be with­out their star coach.

City coach Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx con­firms he’s been in talks with A-League club the Bris­bane Roar.

‘‘They have ap­proached me, we’ve talked about foot­ball, but I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen,’’ he says.

‘‘I need a few days to rest and then I’ll make a de­ci­sion. I need to make sure the de­ci­sion I make is the right one.’’

San­dring­ham-based Auck­land City FC won their penalty shootout 4-3 over Team Welling­ton in the OFC Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal in Suva on April 26, so­lid­i­fy­ing their place in the glam­our tour­na­ment in Ja­pan in De­cem­ber.

Whether Tribu­li­etx will be on the plane with them is still up in the air.

The Three Kings res­i­dent has con­tin­u­ously proved he has the goods to de­liver with a num­ber of ti­tles and a third-place fin­ish at last year’s Club World Cup.

Tribu­li­etx was un­suc­cess­ful in his bid to coach the All Whites but has main­tained a de­sire to take his skills to the next level.

‘‘I love Auck­land City, both the club and the peo­ple here, and I would be happy if there was an op­por­tu­nity for this club to be­come pro­fes­sional, though that is dif­fi­cult for a num­ber of rea­sons,’’ Tribu­li­etx said in Fe­bru­ary.

‘‘I feel I have shown my ca­reer de­serves an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop, to take the next step and I al­ways be­lieved I was ca­pa­ble of show­ing that, the Club World Cup was more proof to oth­ers than me per­son­ally,’’ he said.

The Ocea­nia fi­nal was a fiery af­fair which ended 1-1 af­ter 120 min­utes of foot­ball, fol­low­ing extratime.

City opened the scor­ing in the 14th minute from the penalty spot through Por­tuguese striker Joao Mor­eira.

Tahi­tian ref­eree Nor­bet Hau­ata pointed to the spot af­ter Welling­ton’s Alex Fener­idis blocked Mor­eira as he at­tempted to get to the ball in the box.

The first half was a scrappy af­fair with both teams strug­gling to cre­ate mean­ing­ful chances and sev­eral yel­low cards be­ing bran­dished.

The match took a dra­matic twist in the sec­ond half when Ian Hogg lashed home a fully de­served equaliser with just six min­utes left on the clock to make it 1-1.

In ex­tra time nei­ther team could break free. Tem­pers flared at the end of the shootout with the two sides need­ing to be sep­a­rated.

It was a heart­break­ing way to lose for Welling­ton, who were look­ing to qual­ify for the Club World Cup fi­nals for the time.

Hogg fired Welling­ton’s fi­nal penalty at­tempt over the bar with Dae­wook Kim step­ping up to clinch the ti­tle for Auck­land City.

The win banks US$659,000 in

first prize money and also equals Real Madrid’s record of five con­sec­u­tive Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles set be­tween 1956 and 1960.

Pho­tos: PHOTOTEK

Auck­land City’s dream sea­son con­tin­ued with an­other Ocea­nia Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle.

Left: Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx, front, is con­sid­er­ing a move to the A-League. Right: Ivan Car­ril eye balls ref­eree Nor­bert Hau­ata af­ter be­ing shown a yel­low card.

Above: Joao Mor­eira cel­e­brates his goal.

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