New Zealand beats Solomon Islands 6-1 in World Cup qualifier

New Zealand beats Solomon Islands 6-1 in World Cup qualifier

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 Russian Federation next year after winning the tie 8-3 on aggregate.

New Zealand had virtually ensured they would reach that stage with a 6-1 win over the Solomon Islands in Auckland on Friday.

Ryan Thomas took advantage of some poor defending to give New Zealand a 4-0 lead, and Michael McGlinchey scored from a free kick in the 81st minute.

New Zealand, who qualified for the 1982 and 2010 World Cup finals, now face the fifth-placed South American side - currently twice champions Argentina - in a two-legged playoff in November.

In front of a boisterous crowd at Lawson Tama Stadium the All Whites started strongly in the heat and humidity of Honiara.

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Bevan scored his first global goal in 14th minute, slotting home from close range after Kosta Barbarouses's shot was parried by Solomons keeper Philip Mango.

Coach Anthony Hudson was pleased the All Whites emerged relatively unscathed against a physical approach from the hosts.

For Solomon Islands, New Zealand-based striker Micah Lea'alafa was unavailable because of a visa problem.

"They were giving everything and playing for pride".

New Zealand captain Chris Wood scored a hat trick ahead of the return leg on Tuesday in Honiara. "We are a humble team - everybody has a regular job, so it seems like a win to tell the truth".

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