18 Oct 2007

All Whites did enough under tough conditions to win Oceania World Cup qualifier

7:03 am on 18 October 2007

The New Zealand All Whites have beaten Fiji 2-nil in their Oceania World Cup qualifier in Lautoka last night.

Ivan Vicelich and Shane Smeltz were the chief destroyers for New Zealand against a physical and competitive opponent.

But New Zealand didn't have it all their way with Fiji contributing much to a pulsating and compelling encounter on a slow surface before a crowd of around five and a half thousand.

New Zealand had to weather a storm in the opening 20 minutes with Malakai Tiwa passing up a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring barely 3 minutes into the match.

And Herbert says he was pleased with the way his side didn't give up.

"It's tough you know if you can go the 90 minutes and not concede than I think teams have done very well, I think we've seen them in the past you know sometimes we haven't gone the distance but tonight we certainly did."

New Zealand's next match is against Vanuatu in Port Vila on the 17th of November while Fiji will host New Caledonia on the same day.