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All Whites maintain lead in race for playoff

A brace of goals to Michael McGlinchey and a Chris Killen tap in were enough to secure three points and maintain the All Whites' lead over New Caledonia, after they put five past the Solomon Islands in Noumea.

Michael McGlinchey celebrates his second goal photosport.co.nz

October 16, 2012

CHRISTCHURCH – New Zealand's destiny is in its own hands after taking a firm grip on the FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers with their fourth win in as many starts after dispatching Oceania champions Tahiti 3-0 in Christchurch.

A brace of goals to Michael McGlinchey and a Chris Killen tap in were enough to secure three points and maintain the All Whites' lead over New Caledonia, after they put five past the Solomon Islands in Noumea.

The wins set up a crucial first up home match against New Caledonia in the next FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers window in March next year which could seal New Zealand’s place in the intercontinental playoff in November 2013.

The All Whites got off to a dream start when man-of-the-match McGlinchey drove home with accuracy from the edge of the box in the third minute to send the 10,751 strong crowd into raptures.

"I thought that was one of the best games Mike has played for New Zealand," All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen said after the match.

The diminutive midfielder had two further opportunities to score in the first half, on both occasions trying to craft a goal in the top right hand corner of Mikael Roche's goal.  The first did not have enough bend to bring it around and the second was plucked out of the air by the Tahitian custodian.

It was a case of third time lucky for McGlinchey when he finally picked his spot and calmly slotted past Roche deep into time added on after impressive build up work from Barbarouses down the left flank.

The goal came five minutes after Chris Killen – who had a decent penalty shout turned away in the first half – tapped a rebound home after Roche failed to parry a Barbarouses shot away from goal.

Despite the early goal New Zealand struggled to kill the game off thanks to a combination of desperate defending and missed chances.  Roche thwarted skipper Ryan Nelsen a fairytale goal in front of his home fans with a smart save late in the first half.

A lighting failure meant the first half was called to a premature end as the teams entered additional time, but thankfully the disruption was minimal as the tower fired up in time for the second half. 

For long periods in the second spell the match lacked rhythm possibly due to the short turnaround and long travel and also through some questionable tactics from the visiting Tahitians.

The match threatened to boil over at times and eventually tempers flared late on with an all-in melee after New Zealand’s two late goals prompting Solomon Islands referee Gerald Oiaka to call time and send the teams out of the cold Christchurch air.

Attention now turns to the blockbuster clash between New Zealand and New Caledonia on March 22 next year with the All Whites requiring a point to advance to the intercontinental playoff with CONCACAF in November.

FIFA has confirmed the order of matches for that match with Oceania’s representative set to travel away first and return home for the final leg.

FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers – Oceania Stage Three

Match day four

New Zealand v Tahiti

AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Tuesday 16 October, 2012

New Zealand 3 (Michael MCGLINCHEY 3’, 90’+4; Chris Killen 89’)
Tahiti 0
Halftime: 1-0

New Zealand: 12-Glen MOSS (gk), 3-Tony LOCHHEAD, 4-Ben SIGMUND, 5-Tommy SMITH, 6-Ryan NELSEN (c) (7-Leo BERTOS 85’), 8-Michael MCGLINCHEY, 10-Chris KILLEN, 11-Marco ROJAS (9-Shane SMELTZ 68’), 15-Ivan VICELICH (13-Dan KEAT 65’), 16-Jeremy BROCKIE, 17-Kosta BARBAROUSES
Substitutes not used: 1-Mark PASTON (gk), 20-Chris WOOD
Coach: Ricki HERBERT
Cautions: 10-Chris KILLEN 54’; 4-Ben SIGMUND 84’

Tahiti: 22-Mikael ROCHE (gk), 2-Alvin TEHAU (15-Axel WILLIAMS 69’), 3-Tauraa MARMOUYET, 4-Teheivarii LUDIVION, , 6-Lorenzo TEHAU (9-Teaonui TEHAU 65’), 7-Pierre KUGOGNE, 10-Nicholas VALLAR (c), 11-Stanley ATANI, 13-Steevy CHONG HUE, , 17-Jonathan TEHAU, 20-Yannik VERO
Substitutes not used: 5-Tamatoa WAGEMANN, 14-Rainui AROITA, 16-Efrain ARANEDA, 19-Vincent SIMON, 23-Xavier SAMIN (gk)
Coach: Eddy ETAETA
Cautions: 10-Nicolas VALLAR 24’

New Caledonia v Solomon Islands
Stade Numa Daly, Noumea
Tuesday 16 October, 2012

New Caledonia 5
Solomon Islands 0

Remaining matches – FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers – Oceania Stage Three

Match day five

New Zealand v New Caledonia
Friday 22 March, 2013
Venue TBC

Tahiti v Solomon Islands
Friday 22 March, 2013
Stade Pater, Papeete

Match day six

Solomon Islands v New Zealand
Lawson Tama Stadium, Honiara
Tuesday 26 March, 2013

New Caledonia v Tahiti
Stade Numa Daly, Noumea
Tuesday 26 March, 2013

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