Valkanis backs Tongyik after City’s Gosford thriller

Melbourne City FC coach Michael Valkanis says his talented centre back Ruon Tongyik will have learnt more valuable lessons after City’s exciting 3-2 win over Central Coast on Sunday.

City controlled the match for much of the opening 45 minutes taking a 2-0 lead before the home side battled back into the contest to draw level with goals either side of the break. 

And it was Tongyik, 20, who turned the ball into his own net to bring the game back to 2-2 early in the second half.

City claim controversial clash against Central Coast

“Our first half was quite good and again we seemed to be in control, 2-0 up and had very good chances to make it three or four nil.

“A minute before half time we conceded that free-kick and we spoke about it at half time, about how important the next fifteen, 45 and 60 minutes are. 

Melbourne City players celebrate Bruno Fornaroli's opener against the Mariners on Sunday.

“They got another deflection, the goal got Central Coast a lot of momentum and back into the game,” City coach Michael Valkanis said.

“What’s happening is sometimes individual mistakes are costing us goals. Like today as well, a deflection was the first goal, the second goal it deflected off Ruon [Tongyik].

“That happens in football and he has to move on with it quickly, and be positive and learn from it as a young player, but it’s moments like those that we have to get out of our system. 

“He’s [Tongyik] a young player and it will be a great learning curve for him. He was under immense pressure and he did very well on the ball.

“A couple of times he got caught in a couple of situations where I’m sure he would have liked to have defended better.

“For a young player he is doing really well and taking great steps forward.”

The win cements City’s push for third spot with the Cityzens equal on points with Roar in fourth and a point ahead of Perth Glory in fifth. 

“At the business end of the season it’s very important to come away with the three points,” added Valkanis, whose team now has a 12-day break before they face the Jets at home. 

“We’ll look at it and assess the performance in the first half, analyse the second half and what went wrong, and move on to the next game.

“We missed two good opportunities to make it 4-0 [in the first half] and I thought Paul Izzo’s two saves were exceptional. It could have been a very different game if it was 4-0 at half time,” said Valkanis. 

City next face the Jets on Saturday March 18 in the split round.