8 Sep 2012

All Whites win in third stage of World Cup qualifying

1:42 pm on 8 September 2012

The New Zealand footballers were too strong for New Caledonia in a 2-0 win in Noumea as part of the third stage of World Cup qualifying on Friday night.

First-half goals from Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood were enough for the All Whites to start the final stage of Oceania qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on a winning note, and avenge the loss by the same score to the New Caledonians at the recent Oceania Nations Cup in Honiara.

The win gives the All Whites a strong start and they will now return to Auckland to face the Solomon Islands in Auckland on Tuesday.

In the group's other game, the Solomon Islands beat Tahiti 2-0 in Honiara.

The third stage of World Cup qualifying involves New Zealand, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and Tahiti in a group stage where the top team qualifies to play the fourth placed team from North and Central America.