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Patience pays off for City

City had a pair of braces, to Spanish striker Manel Exposito and All Whites midfielder David Mulligan, to thank for the victory and coach Ramon Tribulietx believes patience was the key to the triumph in front of a vocal crowd of around 12,000 at Honiara’s Lawson Tama Stadium.
“It is good to start with all three points going our way,” Tribulietx said. “We needed to be patient throughout the match and I thought we did that well.”
The final scoreline suggests the win was relatively comfortable but City were made to work hard for the three points and the Koloale camp felt the margin of victory flattered the visitors.
Exposito, who has been an important figure for the New Zealand side since his arrival last season, put City in front from the spot in the 22nd minute and extended that lead in stylish fashion on 54 minutes, darting down the right before finding the net with a delighful chip.
But any hopes City had of a comfortable last half hour were dashed when one-cap All White Chad Coombes brought down Solomon Islands international James Naka in the box on 73 minutes and former Waitakere United star Benjamin Totori slotted home.
That set up a thrilling finale in which Koloale pushed hard for an equaliser but Mulligan scored twice late on to kill off the contest and pad out the final score.
Tribulietx, who is assuming more responsibility as head coach this year after sharing the reins with Aaron McFarland last term, was delighted to have notched an away victory over an opponent he rates highly.
“It was an intense match and we had to deal with players with very good technical skills,” he said.
“But I think it is good for us to play against a side like Koloale because it gives us experience of facing a different playing style.”
The Spaniard will be happy his men secured a win against a set of players with good technique as that is the type of opponent City are likely to face at the FIFA Club World Cup, which takes place in Japan in December.
They have just one O-League match to go before leaving for the prestigious tournament, a intriguing showdown against 2010 champions Hekari United at home.
The Papua New Guinea side are attempting to re-establish themselves as an O-League force after putting in a disappointing showing in the last campaign and got off to a pleasing start with a 1-1 draw away to Vanuatu’s Amicale on Saturday.

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