October 13, 2012
AUCKLAND The All Whites have edged ahead of their Oceania rivals after a hard fought 2-0 win over Tahiti in Papeete in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Goals to Shane Smeltz and Ben Sigmund secured the win for the All Whites who retain pole position in the race for the intercontinental playoff place with nine points.
All Whites coach Ricki Herbert was proud of the disciplined display from his side in the face of a "very physical and aggressive Tahitian side".
"We nullified them quite well and stuck to our game plan and got the three points," said captain on the night Tommy Smith.
New Caledonia sits three points back in second place courtesy of a 6-2 win over the Solomon Islands yesterday, with Oceania champions Tahiti winless and goalless after three matches.
Smeltz moved to outright second on the all-time goal scorers list scoring a tap-in at the back post in the 24th minute. It was Smeltz's 23rd 'A' international goal which took him past Steve Sumner with only Vaughan Coveny still above him on 28 goals.
"We're delighted for him, it's always great seeing the strikers scoring goals and he's getting closer to that top mark," said Smith.
The win was confirmed late in the second half when Sigmund slammed a header home at the back post from a corner eight minutes from time to send the All Whites to Christchurch with three crucial away points.
Herbert will be without Tim Payne after the 18-year-old picked up his second caution of the campaign having previously been booked in the match for third place at the OFC Nations Cup in June.
There is also concern over goalkeeper Mark Paston who was ruled out of the match with a foot infection, allowing Glen Moss the start in goal for the All Whites.
"He couldn't really get his boot on today, but he's in the right hands and the medical staff will have another look at it when we get to Christchurch," said Herbert.
The All Whites return to New Zealand in the early hours of the morning (NZT) where they will link up with Ryan Nelsen and Winston Reid before settling in Christchurch tomorrow afternoon.
The return match with Tahiti kicks off at 7:35pm on Tuesday night with New Caledonia hosting the Solomon Islands earlier in Noumea.
FIFA World Cup qualifiers Oceania Stage Three
Tahiti v New Zealand
Stade Pater, Papeete
Friday 12 October (Saturday 13 October NZT)
New Zealand 2 (Shane SMELTZ 24, Ben SIGMUND 82)
Tahiti: 23-Xavier SAMIN (gk), 2-Alvin TEHAU, 3-Tauraa MARMOUYET (19-Vincent SIMON 62), 6-Lorenzo TEHAU (15-Axel WILLIAMS 81), 7-Pierre KUGOGNE, 8-Angelo TCHEN, 10-Nicholas VALLAR (c), 11-Stanley ATANI (16-Efrain ARANEDA 73), 13-Steevy CHONG HUE, 17-Jonathan TEHAU, 20-Yannik VERO
Substitutes not used: 1-Gilbert MERIEL (gk), 4-Teheivarii LUDIVION, 5-Tamatoa WAGEMANN, 9-Teaonui TEHAU, 12-Sιbastien LABAYEN, 14-Rainui AROITA, 18-Pierre KOHUMOETINI, 21-Marama VAHIRUA, 22-Mikael ROCHE (gk)
Coach: Eddy ETAETA
Cautions: Angelo TCHEN 69
New Zealand: 12-Glen MOSS (gk), 3-Tony LOCHHEAD, 4-Ben SIGMUND, 5-Tommy SMITH (c), 7-Leo BERTOS, 8-Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9-Shane SMELTZ (13-Dan KEAT 90), 10-Chris KILLEN, 15-Ivan VICELICH, 18-Tim PAYNE (17-Kosta BARBAROUSES 73), 20-Chris WOOD (16-Jeremy BROCKIE 62)
Substitutes not used: 1-Mark PASTON (gk), 11-Marco ROJAS
Coach: Ricki HERBERT
Cautions: Tim PAYNE 42, Tony LOCHHEAD 53
Solomon Islands v New Caledonia
Lawson Tama Stadium, Honiara
Friday 12 October
Solomon Islands 2 (Tutizama TANITO 34; Joses NAWO 59)
New Caledonia 6 (Roy KAYARA 8; Georges GOPE-FENEPEJ 45, 82 90+1; Own Goal 78; Jacques HAEKO 90)
FIFA World Cup qualifiers Oceania Stage Three
Match day four
New Caledonia v Solomon Islands
Stade Numa Daly, Noumea
Tuesday 16 October 2012
Kickoff: 7:30pm (5:30pm NZT)
New Zealand v Tahiti
AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Tuesday 16 October, 2012
Live on Sky Sport 3
Tickets Prices Adult/Children
Uncovered GA seating (East stands) $20/$10 pre-purchased ($30/$15 at the gate)
Covered/ Uncovered seating (North/South stands) $30/$15 pre-purchased ($40/$20 at the gate)
White Noise* $30/$15 pre-purchased (North stand Section 9) ($40/$20 at the gate)
Tickets available from www.ticketek.co.nz and Ticketek outlets
*The White Noise Zone is a Kiwi sporting experience like no other. From Wellington to Bahrain to South Africa the White noise zone has been the home of the best fans in New Zealand sport. Its your chance to be loud, be vocal, and be an active part of the atmosphere only football provides in an all-singing, all standing fan experience. Leave any sensitive ears behind but do bring a sense of humour, passion for football and love for your country. So stand up for the All Whites and sing them to victory on the Road to Brazil.
Match day five
New Zealand v New Caledonia
Friday 22 March, 2013
Match day six
Solomon Islands v New Zealand
Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tuesday 26 March, 2013