2 Jun 2012

All Whites beat Fiji in tight World Cup qualifying opener

5:39 pm on 2 June 2012

The All Whites have opened their World Cup qualifying campaign with a close 1-0 win against Fiji in sweltering 35 degree conditions in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara.

Captain Tommy Smith scored the only goal in the ninth minute after Fiji goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau couldn't hold a Leo Bertos free kick, Smith following up to knock in the rebound.

It's Smith's first international goal.

Goalkeeper Mark Paston was substituted shortly after half-time when he copped a knee to the head, youngster Jake Gleeson replacing him. Medical staff suspect Paston's got concussion.

The All Whites next play Papua New Guinea on Monday.