11 Jun 2012

All Whites sign off with win, Tahiti crowned kings of Oceania

6:24 am on 11 June 2012

A first half hat trick from Chris Wood and a coolly taken 94th minute winner from Shane Smeltz fired the All Whites to a 4-3 win over the Solomon Islands in the OFC Nations Cup playoff for third place.

After the disappointing semi final exit at the hands of New Caledonia on Friday, the All Whites coach Ricki Herbert rang the changes, fielding a young side with eight players who will be lining up at the London Olympics and the remaining three no older than 25.

Meanwhile, Tahiti will represent Oceania at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil after edging out New Caledonia 1-nil in the final of the OFC Nations Cup during a dramatic last day of action in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The title win means coach Eddy Etaeta and his men have created a piece of history by becoming the first Pacific Island team to lift Oceania's biggest prize - Australia and New Zealand are the only prior champions.