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All Whites make winning start on World Cup trail

First half goals from Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood were enough for New Zealand to post a comfortable 2-0 win over New Caledonia in Noumea to start the final stage of Oceania qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on a winning note.

Chris Wood and SHane Smeltz fired New Zealand to an opening stage 3 FIFA World Cup qualifying win. www,photosport.co.nz

September 7, 2012

AUCKLAND – First half goals from Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood were enough for New Zealand to post a comfortable 2-0 win over New Caledonia in Noumea to start the final stage of Oceania qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on a winning note.

The victory, which will help to ease the pain of a semi-final OFC Nations Cup defeat to the same opposition in June, sets up a top of the table clash against the Solomon Islands in Auckland on Tuesday night.

The Bonito opened their own campaign with a 2-0 win over Oceania champions Tahiti in Honiara thanks to goals from Henry Fa’arodo and Himson Taleda.

After piling on the early pressure at Stade Numa-Daly, the All Whites finally took the lead through Shane Smeltz in the 12th minute when goalkeeper Rocky Nyikeine could only parry Chris Wood's initial shot into the path of his fellow striker.

It takes the prolific Perth Glory forward level third with Brian Turner on 21 ‘A’ international goals for New Zealand, behind only Vaughan Coveny (28) and Steve Sumner (22).

Wood then doubled the lead when he headed home his sixth goal in his last five internationals, with the chance coming from a Michael McGlinchey cross.

With travel and a match against a dangerous Solomon Islands side to come in four days time, New Zealand then shut up shop to close out the match and take an important step towards Brazil 2014.

“It was vital to reignite the campaign like this,” said All Whites coach Ricki Herbert.

“We were dominant in the first half, took two good chances then absorbed everything they could throw at us in front of their home crowd without ever being uncomfortable. It’s an important win.”

“We’ve got the ball rolling again and now we have the chance to take control of the group if we can post another victory in Auckland on Tuesday night.”

After six match days spread throughout this week, October and March next year, the winner of the Oceania group takes on the fourth placed team from North and Central America in a home and away playoff in November 2013 for a place among the 32 finalists at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifiers Stage 3
Match Day 1
Friday 7 September
Stade Numa Daly
Noumea, New Caledonia

New Caledonia 0
New Zealand 2
(Shane SMELTZ 12’, Chris WOOD 40’)
Halftime: 0-2

New Caledonia: 1-Rocky NYIKEINE (GK), 2-Jeremie DOKUNENGO, 3-Emile BEARUNE, 6-Olivier DOKUNENGO (captain), 7-Dominique WACALIE, 10-Cesar LOLOHEA, 11-Bertrand KAI, 13-Noel KAUDRE (9-Jacques HAEKO 56’), 16-Iamel KABEU (12-Roy KAYARA 56’), 17-Joel WAKANUMUNE.
Substitutes not used: 4-Georges BEARUNE, 5-Kalaje GNIPATE, 8-Miguel KAYARA, 14-Jean-Patrick WAKANUMUNE, 15-Dick KAUMA, 18-Yohann MERCIER, 19-Georges GOPE-FENEPEJ, 20-Steeve IXOEE (GK), 21-Luther WAHNYAMALLA, 22-Marc OUNEMOA (GK), 23-Pierre NYIKEINE.
Coach: Alain MOIZAN

Cautions: 16-Iamel KABEU 44’, 7-Dominique WACALIE 90+1’

New Zealand: 1-Mark PASTON (GK), 2-Winston REID, 3-Tony LOCHHEAD, 5-Tommy SMITH, 6-Ryan NELSEN (captain), 7-Leo BERTOS, 8-Michael MCGLINCHEY (18-Tim PAYNE 75’), 9-Shane SMELTZ, 15-Ivan VICELICH, 16-Jeremy BROCKIE (17-Kosta BARBAROUSES 81’), 20-Chris WOOD (11-Marco ROJAS 90+2’).
Substitutes not used: 4-Ben SIGMUND, 10-Chris KILLEN, 12-Glen MOSS (GK), 13-Dan KEAT, 19-Michael BOXALL.
Coach: Ricki HERBERT

Cautions: 8-Michael MCGLINCHEY 44’, 9-Shane SMELTZ 54’, 2-Winston REID 72’

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – Oceania Stage 3 Qualifying Standings

 

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Solomon Islands

1

1

0

0

2

0

2

3

New Zealand

1

1

0

0

2

0

2

3

New Caledonia

1

1

0

0

0

2

-2

0

Tahiti

1

0

0

1

0

2

-2

0

FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifiers Stage 3
Match Day 2

New Zealand v Solomon Islands
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Tuesday 11 September, 2012
Kickoff: 7:35pm
Live on Sky Sport & Radio Sport
Tickets Prices – Adult/Children:
Covered reserved seating – $35/$15 pre-purchased  ($45/$20 at the gate)
Uncovered reserved & GA open – $25/$10 pre-purchased   ($35/$15 at the gate)
Tickets available from www.ticketek.co.nz and Ticketek outlets

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