1 Sep 2017

All Whites want it done and dusted

10:28 am on 1 September 2017

The All Whites are aiming to put their World Cup qualifying tie against the Solomon Islands to bed early in tonight's fixture at North Harbour Stadium.

Chris Wood.

Chris Wood. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The two-match tie starts tonight with the return leg in Honiara next Tuesday.

Coach Anthony Hudson says his side's confident they can put the tie beyond doubt with a strong performance tonight.

"We have the mindset that we want to finish the tie off on Friday night."

"We want to be strong, we want to be aggressive, we want to set the tempo of the game, we want to control the game and want to push for the whole game to make sure we have a big enough advantage."

All Whites and Burnley striker Chris Wood is likely to earn more money in a year than the entire Solomon Islands squad will in a lifetime.

So the coach of the Melanesian nation just hopes his troops enjoy the clash and put themselves in the frame for professional deals.

Spanish-born coach Felipe Vega-Arango Alonso was guarded on his side's chances in Albany, confirming their first priority was to shut up shop - foreshadowing a gritty defensive effort with large numbers behind the ball.

Beyond that, he simply wanted his players to make a good impression, with club scouts likely watching the match for bargain buys.

All of Alonso's players are amateur or semi-professional.

"The edge is with New Zealand, we're the clear underdog. For me, it's a wonderful opportunity for the players, because the game belongs to them, not to the coaches, and I hope they understand that," Alonso said.

"We know they're a strong side, and we have to have a game plan based on their strengths and what we can do to combat that.

"My goal is for them to not have too many chances."

Alonso took over the Bonitos role in March and coaches several players familiar to New Zealand Premiership fans, including Henry Fa'arodo and Micah Lea'alafa.

He said they had worked hard under his watch and would try their best.

"They've improved a lot because they're hardworking people, really honest, they want to learn," Alonso said.

"Sometimes I've been a jerk, I can tell you, I've been tough - they've done things they haven't done in the past, a lot of fitness."

The winner of the tie will face the fifth-best South American team from the Conacaf Cup for a spot in 2018 World Cup in Russia.

-RNZ and AAP