6 Sep 2017

All Whites focus on fitness ahead of World Cup play-offs

8:17 am on 6 September 2017

The All Whites coach wants much better preparation from his players ahead of the World Cup Intercontinental play-off against a South American side in November.

Anthony Hudson and Tommy Smith talk at All Whites training.

Anthony Hudson and Tommy Smith talk at All Whites training. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A 2-all draw in the Solomon Islands yesterday has given the All Whites an 8-3 aggregate victory in the FIFA Oceania final.

New Zealand won the first leg of the tie 6-1 in Auckland last week and will now play the fifth placed South American side in November for a spot at the World Cup in Russia next year.

Argentina currently hold fifth spot in the South American competition but there are two more games yet to go in their qualifying pool round.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson says it is vital his side is fit and healthy for whoever they face in the intercontinental play-off in November.

"We've done enough against the bigger teams such as the USA, Mexico and at the Confederations Cup competition - we've shown enough that we all believe we can do something."

"But we have to have everyone ready, everyone fit and everyone available."

All Whites Dane Ingham has been sent home after failing fitness tests in the team camp.

All White Dane Ingham (left) Photo: Photosport

Hudson dropped three young players - Bill Tuiloma, Clayton Lewis and Dane Ingham -for the Solomon Islands tie because he said they weren't in the right shape for international football.

"I've been pretty clear about what everybody needs to do.It's now up to them to show they've improved in those areas."

"They are all very good young players and they've got big futures in the game if they pull their fingers out."

Meanwhile South Korea is the latest nation to qualify for the World Cup finals after their nil-all draw with Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

The South Koreans join Iran, Japan, Brazil, Belgium and Mexico plus hosts Russia as having already qualified for the 32-team tournament next June.

The All Whites started strongly in their game against the Solomon Islands in the heat and humidity of Honiara.

Myer Bevan opened the All Whites accounts 10 minutes into the match when a Monty Paterson shot richoted off the right hand post and Bevan picked up the rebound to score

Myer Bevan

Myer Bevan Photo: Photosport

New Zealand went 2-0 up 10 minutes later through a Solomon Islands own goal when a Kosta Barbarouses cross deflected off a defender leaving the goal keeper stranded.

Solomon Islands got on the scoreboard when All Whites defender Andrew Durante brought down Micah Lea'alafa to give the home side a penalty which Lea'alafa duly converted.

The sapping heat and humidity took a toll on the All Whites as they battled away in the second half, seemingly content to sit on their one goal lead.

The squad was missing several players including Winston Reid, Chris Wood, Ryan Thomas, Marco Rojas, Tommy Smith, and Michael McGlinchey.

Solomon Islands celebrate their equaliser

Solomon Islands celebrate their equaliser Photo: Supplied:OFC

With quarter of an hour remaining the All Whites conceded a second penalty when Sam Brotherton was ruled to have taken out an opposition player and Henry Fa'arodo stabbed in the equaliser.