14 Oct 2012

All Whites win in Tahiti

7:22 am on 14 October 2012

The New Zealand men's football team has won its third straight Oceania World Cup qualifier, the All Whites beating Tahiti 2-0 in Papeete.

Striker Shane Smeltz scored a tap-in at the back post in the 24th minute for a 1-0 half-time lead then defender Ben Sigmund added the second goal in the 82nd minute with a header from a corner to make the game safe.

The All Whites retain pole position in the race for the intercontinental playoff place with nine points.

New Caledonia sits three points back in second place courtesy of a 6-2 win in the Solomon Islands, with Oceania Nations Cup champions Tahiti winless and goalless after three matches.

The All Whites play Tahiti again on Tuesday in Christchurch, when it's hoped captain Ryan Nelsen can play his first-ever international in his home town.

Goalkeeper Mark Paston was ruled out of the first match with a foot infection, allowing Glen Moss the start in goal.