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All Whites crush Solomon Islands

Published: 10:36PM Tuesday September 11, 2012 Source: Reuters

The All Whites took control of Oceania's third round qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup with a 6-1 thrashing of the Solomon Islands in Auckland tonight.

The victory at North Harbour Stadium gave New Zealand the maximum six points after the first two matches.

Shane Smeltz and Kosta Barbarouses gave the All Whites a 2-0 lead by halftime, though Solomon's captain Henry Fa'arodo got his side back in the match when he took a long pass first time and swept it past goalkeeper Mark Paston just after the break.

"In the first 30 minutes we knew they would throw everything at us up front and pressure us defensively so we knew we had to go back to front pretty quickly," All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen said in a pitchside interview.

"We knew if we got our timing right we could get in behind them. It didn't quite work in the first half but we grinded them down in the second and got our opportunities."

Chris Killen scored New Zealand's third with a header after replacement goalkeeper Paul Huia was trapped in no man's land before Tony Lochhead, Chris Wood and Marco Rojas completed the rout as the visitors defence fell apart in the final 20 minutes.

"They did get back into the game at 2-1 but once we got the third we knew it was going to be a case of how many," Nelsen added.

"Unfortunately we were a little bit too easy on them at the end and we should have put more away."

This final stage of qualifying in the Oceania region consists of a single pool of the four teams, all playing each other home and away.

The winner of the pool advances to face the fourth-placed team from the Central and North American confederation (CONCACAF) in a two-legged playoff for a spot in Brazil.

The third round of matches is on Oct. 12 with Tahiti hosting New Zealand in Papeete and the Solomon Islands playing New Caledonia in Honiara.

New Zealand 6 (Shane Smeltz 12, Kosta Barbarouses 25, Chris Killen 53, Tony Lochhead 69, Chris Wood 80, Marco Rojas 83)
Solomon Islands 1 (Henry Fa'Arodo 51)
Halftime: 2-0