Valkanis: The first 15 minutes of the second half, that’s where the game was lost

City Head Coach Michael Valkanis has rued his side’s start to the second stanza, saying he was disappointed with the focus his side lacked in thwarting the Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium.

The 3-1 loss halted City’s charge towards the Finals Series with Tony Popovic’s men denying the visitors their third straight win and third straight away win since December 2011.

It was down to one man, Brenton Santalab, who took City down single-handedly, scoring his first hat-trick for the Wanderers and Valkanis was disappointed with how his side dealt with the dangerous forward, saying he was frustrated with how things panned out.

“The second half there was a period where Western Sydney got on top of us early on and within a space of four to five minutes they scored two goals,” Valkanis said.

“It’s disappointing on how we conceded those goals and I’m very frustrated with our first 15 minutes. That’s where the game was lost.

“We had an opportunity to come back into the game where we could have scored the penalty and we missed it and that showed where we were in the second half.”

Valkanis put the lapses down to individual errors as he admitted his defence failed to keep the Santalab under wraps, but believes that crucial period didn’t reflect the whole match.

“In that period, Western Sydney got on top and that was the main period they started to dominate with the ball,” he said.

“They got into the box with two crosses where we had two or three players against one and I thought they were two crosses we should have dealt with comfortably.

“We should have done a lot better and it’s very frustrating and disappointed we conceded these goals.”

It’s league-leaders Sydney FC up next for Valkanis’ side as they prepare to take on another tough test on the road to the Finals Series next Saturday night.

Our final home match of the season is on Friday 7 April as City take on Adelaide United at AAMI Park. Don’t miss a minute of the action and secure you place at the match today!