8 Sep 2012

NZ and Solomon Islands gain early edge in World Cup football qualifying

9:55 am on 8 September 2012

New Zealand and Solomon Islands have both gained revenge over opponents who defeated them in June with wins in the opening round of Stage 3 qualifying for football's 2014 World Cup.

New Zealand's All Whites turned the tables on New Caledonia with a 2-nil success in Noumea

thanks to goals from Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood in a dominant first-half performance.

And Solomon Islands beat Tahiti 2-nil in Honiara to banish memories of their loss to the Oceania champions on the same ground three months ago.

The goals were scored by Henry Fa'Arodo and Himson Teleda.

The victories mean the All Whites and the Bonitos share the early advantage in the race for a spot in Brazil 2014, and will play each other in Auckland on Tuesday.

The same night, Tahiti will host New Caledonia in Papeete.