Matsumoto Yamaga – who finished 14th in J.League 2 this season – dominated the early exchanges of a match played in 2 degrees Celsius and overcast conditions at Nagaoka but could not find a way past the City rearguard.
“It was a good result and a good performance against a professional team very similar to Sanfrecce Hiroshima,” Tribulietx says.
“It proved to our players that we can play the style we play against a professional team and be successful.”
Tribulietx was able to give most of his squad game time but now has a selection headache ahead of the clash against Sanfrecce Hiroshima on December 6 with a number of players putting up their hand for a starting slot.
Goalscorers Luis Corrales and Emiliano Tade delivered top performances off the bench with Corrales notching his fourth goal of the season to go alongside strikes in the domestic ASB Premiership against Otago United and Waitakere United.
Tade’s reputation as an impact player was enhanced when he guided home a header three minutes into the second half before Corrales rounded off the scoring by beating the Matsumoto goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation midway through the second spell.
Yet Matsumoto Yamaga created a number of decent chances in each half with goalkeeper Tamati Williams – and his second-half replacement Jacob Spoonley – both pulling off important stops.
Auckland’s winning margin could have been even more emphatic had Spaniard Pedro Garcia managed to score from eight yards out with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen.
Matsumoto experienced a meteoric rise through the J.League ranks to earn promotion to J.League 2 in 2011 and inflicted a giant-killing upset 2-0 win over Urawa Reds in the Emperor’s Cup two years ago.
The win for the Oceania champions is the fifth time Auckland City have downed professional opposition in a growing list that includes Al-Ahli (UAE), Central Coast Mariners (Australia), TP Mazembe (Congo) and Ryuzu Keizai (Japan).
Auckland City’s FIFA Club World Cup opponents Sanfrecce Hiroshima finished their J.League fixture programme off with an away match at struggling Vissel Kobe.
The FIFA Club World Cup playoff between Auckland City and Sanfrecce Hiroshima takes place on December 6 at the Yokohama International Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on New Zealand’s Sky Sports 3 from 11.45pm.