13 Sep 2012

All Whites put six past Solomons

11:47 am on 13 September 2012

The All Whites have gone top of the Oceania World Cup play-off standings after beating the Solomon Islands 6-1 in Albany.

Goals to Shane Smeltz, Kosta Barbarouses, Chris Killen, Tony Lochhead, Chris Wood and Marco Rojas made it back to back wins in the opening match window for stage three of Oceania qualifying and gave New Zealand a valuable three point lead a third of the way through this phase..

The Solomons lie in second place on three points and could be joined by either Tahiti or New Caledonia when those two teams meet tonight in Papeete.

The clinical performance was the biggest win of Ricki Herbert's 50-match tenure and could have been larger with another Killen effort ruled out for a foul and a headed shot from the veteran front man rattling the cross bar, while Winston Reid and Mike McGlinchey also went close.

Herbert says they were very professional and right from the whistle they went about their work very well and dominated for long periods.

He says they showed good strength, depth and quality and it was nice to make a bit of a statement.

Next up on the road to Brazil, the All Whites take on Tahiti twice in October; away on the 12th and home in Christchurch on the 16th, a match which will not only be Nelsen's 50th international but also his first in his home town.