> News > 2015 OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE > Auckland City beats Gaitcha

Auckland City beats Gaitcha

Coming out after the tough match was a relived Ramon Tribulietx, coach of Auckland City FC, who was pleased to see his side securing the win.
“I’m happy, obviously no wins come easy especially in a semi-final and obviously they knew they could make a final and that made it a massive game for both of the teams,” Tribulietx said.
“We created a lot of chances actually, but unfortunately we didn’t capitalise so the game ends up in a situation where one little mistake can cost you a goal and the semi-final – so there was a bit of pressure there, a bit of nerves and that’s understandable.
“We both knew what we were playing for and we’re happy for the win.”
Auckland City certainly looked the more threatening side from early in the game, and Gaitcha’s nervous entry into this stage of the competition caused them to commit more fouls than they would have wanted, some of them in rather dangerous territory.
Midfielder Daewook Kim stepped into the role of set-piece deliveryman with Ivan Carril carrying an injury and Darren White suspended. Gaitcha looked shaky on corners and at times struggled to clear the danger.
Young striker Jim Ouka performed valiantly for the Caledonians chasing down loose balls and causing a nuisance in the box along with Bertrand Kai, while captain Emile Bearune patrolled the midfield gathering up what he could and distributing it well.
However against an experienced side like Auckland City a missed opportunity can come back to haunt you and several off-target attempts that could have been dealt with better.
Locked at 0-0 coming back from the break, Auckland City started to increase the pressure and the lack of big match experience started to show through from the club from Gaitcha, on the island of Lifou in New Caledonia as the discipline they’d shown in the first half started to wane.
The set piece pressure increased and eventually they fell to it as Kim whipped in a free kick to the back post where a waiting Marko
Dordevic headed it over a reaching Nykiene for what would be the game’s only goal.
Tribulietx said Auckland City’s opponents came out as they expected.
“They were very similar, trying to capitalise in transition, long ball in the second phase – that’s what we were expecting and that’s what happened quite a few times.
“From us, we played well, we had the ball and we knew how to break that pressure that was coming very quickly towards us and we created the chances,” he explained.
“Maybe there was just a lack of ‘freshness’ in there that meant we didn’t score that goal which would have given us a bit more confidence coming into the last few minutes.”
For opposing coach Kevin Coma, the match was the end to an impressive journey for the side celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and one that has helped bring New Caledonia football to new heights.
“To be nil-all at half time was what we deserved at the break really. The players showed that we knew how to defend, that New Caledonia football isn’t rushed and that they know how to compete against a professional club – so I’m proud of them,” he says.
“We showed the Caledonian football is played with heart. This is a team with a big heart, but we lacked a bit in the game and, even against a team like this, we need to play our game.”
While disappointed not to be progressing to the next stage, there have been plenty of lessons learned and experience gained.
“The players have learned a lot, they’ve gained a lot of experience. It’s been extraordinary for this team to qualify for the semi-finals.
“We know we’ve done something major here and we proved that on the field during this semi-final. We couldn’t quite make it to the next step but football is football, we’re not going to hide behind the referees or anything like that. We couldn’t quite put in place the game we needed to in order to win this.”
OFC Media

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