12 Nov 2016

All Whites beat New Caledonia 2-0

6:50 pm on 12 November 2016

The All Whites have beaten New Caledonia 2-0 in the first match of a two legged World Cup qualifier in Auckland.

Marco Rojas celebrates his 1st goal.

Marco Rojas celebrates his 1st goal. Photo: Photosport

In their first home game in two years, the Oceania Nations cup champions entertained 8,103 fans gathered in Albany for the stage three qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Marco Rojas got the All Whites on the board in the 42nd minute when the 25-year-old hit a shot that took a deflection from the keeper but had enough on it to find the back of the net.

It was his third international goal for the All Whites, sending his team to the sheds with a 1-0 lead after a frustrating opening 45 minutes in which they were denied twice by the woodwork.

At the other end of the pitch, Cesar Zeoula was at the heart of everything New Caledonia did on attack and could have scored on several occasions.

In the second half, both sides had chances but it was Rojas who again found the back of the net.

Marco Rojas scores his second goal.

Marco Rojas scores his second goal. Photo: Photosport

The Melbourne Victory midfielder netted his first double in an international when he finished from close range in the 72nd minute after a back heel from skipper Chris Wood.

Towards the end of the first half the New Zealand coach, Anthony Hudson, changed his formation, moving from a 3-5-2 system to 4-1-3-2 with Bill Tuiloma pushing forward to take on the role of defensive midfielder.

New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson was satisfied to claim the win in what was his first match on home soil and warned his side would get better

"It was a good win, solid win, and a good start to the qualification campaign. We had many chances and kept a clean sheet. We can do so much better but we're very happy with today," Hudson said.

The All Whites travel to New Caledonia tomorrow and will play Les Cagous again for the away leg at Stade Yoshida in Koné on Tuesday night.