DUNEDIN: New Zealand scored a last-ditch goal to clinch a 2-1 vitory over New Caledonia yesterday and top the Oceania World Cup qualifiers for the right to play off for a spot in Brazil next year.
A Tommy Smith goal four minutes into extra time sealed the win after New Caledonia had cancelled out Chris Killen’s 10th-minute opener for the All Whites with a goal early in the second half.
Oceania, the weakest of the six Fifa confederations, does not have an automatic berth at the 2014 World Cup.
With one qualification round left to go, New Zealand have five wins from five matches and are beyond the reach of their rivals, who consist of small Pacific island nations.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ