City FC could lose coach
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.
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.