Auckland City beat Suva

Despite his experience, and Auckland City’s pedigree in this competition, coach Ramon Tributlietx was relieved to get the first match out of the way, with the three points in hand.
“It was a tough match. I think Suva played a good game, they were very well organised defensively and that made our football difficult, especially in the first half,” Tribulietx says.
“We managed to capitalise once, in one of those situations that we couldn’t quite understand how to create but we knew it was going to be a difficult match.
They’re a good team and they were playing in front of their home fans so we knew it would be tough. We’re very happy, especially for that reason, and of course for the win.”
As is often the case when going into the unknown, both Auckland City and Suva took a little extra time to gauge their opponent when they helped kick-off the 13th edition of this competition in Suva.
Moving away from what might be considered their regular starting line-up, Tribulietx gave some players who were as yet untested at this level a run, opting for Oscar Garcia, Michael Den Heijer and Ivan Carril over the experience of Ivan Vicelich, Takuya Iwata and Ryan De Vries.
An unfortunate defending error, or a lucky break from some perspectives, saw David Browne convert from the penalty spot just 12 minutes in after Garcia was downed in the box by Kolinio Sivoki.
After going behind Suva appeared to become more determined, constantly disrupting play and driving forward with swift counter-attacks.
Nickel Chand’s speed was well utilised up the left, but after beating past his defender his precision crosses were too easily cleared with Suva really lacking in numbers up front.
Suva racked up a couple of missed opportunities that coach Gurjit Singh will surely be ruing now especially after a couple of concentration lapses cost them dearly in the second half.
Just over ten minutes after coming on as a substitute, Sam Burfoot was finding the back of the net with a left foot effort that had keeper Emori Ragata well beaten.
That was followed up by fellow substitute Adam McGeorge who beat his man before firing off his left and past a diving Ragata for Auckland City’s third.
A disappointing entry into the OFC Champions League annals for Suva, but coach Gurjit Singh remains optimistic after a fine first half performance against the FIFA Club World Cup third place finishers.
“I definitely think it was a good first half performance from the boys against one of the best teams here. The second half was a lapse in concentration costing us dearly but overall I’m really happy,” Singh says.
“It’s a bad thing that we missed some good chances and you have to take those chances in games like this. We got a chance to score and unfortunately we missed it but now we’re looking forward to the next game.”
Suva faces Amicale FC this Tuesday at 7pm and Auckland City will play Western United at 4.30pm.

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