Solomon Islands have taken a major step towards defending their Oceania Futsal Championship title, outclassing New Zealand 4-1 in a top of the table clash, to move three points clear of their closest rivals.
Billed as a final of sorts, Kurukuru captain Elliot Ragomo opened the scoring in the eighth minute, giving the four-time defending champions a narrow halftime advantage.
Ragomo was again instrumental ten minutes into the second spell, his cross finding Jack Wetney who doubled their lead before the captain bagged his second goal of the match a minute later.
Miroslav Malivuk finally got the Futsal Whites on the board before Jeffery Bule completed a clinical performance for the Kurukuru a couple of minutes from the end.
New Zealand coach Scott Gilligan said they were simply beaten by a better team.
Despite being the only unbeaten team after three rounds, Solomons coach Juliano Schmeling refused to get carried away.
"The boys performed well, definitely I'm happy as it is three more points, but it's not finished yet. We have two more games and nothing is decided yet," he says before acknowledging the strides New Zealand has made to get to their current stage."
Vanuatu conceded after just 28 seconds but twice came from behind to overwhelm New Caledonia 6-3, joining New Zealand in a share of second place.
Louis Dominique's side have won back to back games since a first up loss against the Futsal Whites but he said they will need to be even better against the high flying Kurukuru.
"We have to come back every time [but] this time we cannot afford the same kind of situation with Solomons because we know Solomons a very good team and if they get the lead it will be hard for us to come back. This time we have to be careful and not let Solomons score."
Meanwhile Tahiti got their first points of the tournament with a 9-1 demolition of Fiji.
Adding to the home side's woes, Suraj Chand was shown a late red card for deliberately handling the ball which prevented a goal.
The resulting penalty was converted by Steeve Wong in what was essentially the final play of the match.
The competition takes a break on Thursday before resuming Friday, with Tahiti taking on New Caledonia, Solomon Islands against Vanuatu and Fiji versus New Zealand.