26 Mar 2013

Sport: Solomon Islands not taking NZ lightly

11:58 am on 26 March 2013

The Solomon Islands football coach Jacob Moli says even at less than full strength, his team won't be taking New Zealand lightly in Tuesday's final Oceania World Cup qualifying match in Honiara.

Nothing is riding on the game, with the All Whites having already secured qualification through to the inter-continental playoff by beating New Caledonia on Friday.

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has opted to rest a number of first-choice players for today's match, while several Bonitos players have not been released by their clubs.

Jacob Moli says that makes it even tougher.

"At the moment we've got a team but most of these players are new as well and some of them this is their first time. We're just hoping, with the support of the crowd tomorrow, hopefully things will go our way but New Zealand is no easy team. We have to really dig deep if we want to come out with a positive result. Whether they are bench players or first eleven players, they're just playing the same football so we have to take tomorrow's game with respect as well. We don't take this as a second-string team, we take it as their best team as well."

Later on Tuesday, New Caledonia host Tahiti in the final Oceania qualifying match.