2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA ™ - NEW ZEALAND WINS CONFEDERATION CUP SPOT WITH VICTORY

Publié le par OFC Website

New Zealand have booked themselves a place at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa tournament with two matches to spare after a workmanlike 3-1 away win over New Caledonia propelled them to an uncatchable lead in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Nations Cup.
They have also kept themselves in the frame for a shot at World Cup glory by qualifying to meet the fifth placed Asian qualifier in a home and away playoff to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™
The All Whites presented their credentials as the best team in Oceania with a controlled performance in Noumea tonight though they suffered a brief scare when New Caledonia equalised ten minutes into the second half.
Riki Herbert’s All Whites generally had the measure of a mercurial but inconsistent home team.
New Zealand settled early thanks to a 15th minute opener from Ben Sigmund – his first goal at this level. He tapped home from close range after a Simon Elliot corner was directed back toward him by Shane Smeltz
The New Caledonia equaliser was far more mesmerising. Michel Hmae strode through the New Zealand defence and finished off a swift attack with a clinical finish past an on rushing Glen Moss.
But while a draw would have been enough for New Zealand to win the group, they continued to attack. They were rewarded when Jarrod Smith initiated an enterprising move down the left flank in the 65th minute. His deep cross to the far post was cleverly headed square by Jeremy Brockie and Shane Smeltz was on hand to ram the ball home from six metres.
In the 76th minute New Zealand gave themselves a margin of safety when Smeltz conjured up as superb striker’s goal. Running across goal on the edge of the area he received a short ball in from Elliot, took two touches and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from 15 metres.
While New Caledonia made sporadic second half raids they were never able to gain the cohesion needed to penetrate a composed New Zealand back four anchored by Ryan Nelsen.
The game was played in 30 degree heat and took its toll on New Zealand most notably when Jarrod Smith cramped up in the final minutes.
For New Zealand it takes the pressure off when the two teams meet again at North Harbour Stadium on Wednesday night.
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA ™ QUALIFIERS STANDINGS

 

PL

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

1.

New Zealand

4

4

0

0

11

4

   +7

12

2.

New Caledonia

5

2

2

1

12

7

   +5

8

4.

Fiji

4

1

1

2

5

9

   -4

4

3.

Vanuatu

5

0

1

4

3

12

   -9

1

Publié dans Selections

Commenter cet article