All Whites held to shock draw by Solomon Islands but edge closer towards 2018 World Cup

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The All Whites have sealed their progression to compete for a spot at the 2018 Football World Cup, drawing 2-2 with the Solomon Islands in Honiara to emerge as the winners of the Oceania Confederation 8-3 on aggregate.

Coming into today's clash on the back of a 6-1 thrashing in Auckland last week, the All Whites rested star players Chris Wood and Ryan Thomas, confident in youngsters Myer Bevan and Moses Dyer in their place.

New Zealand opened the scoring, with a goalmouth scramble giving Bevan his first goal for the All Whites, before an own goal from Nelson Sale pushed the aggregate score to 8-1.

The Solomon Islands would hit back, with Micah Lea’alafala scoring from the penalty spot to bring the score on the day to 2-1.

The second half saw an improved performance from the Solomon Islands, keeping the All Whites at bay before adding a second through skipper Henry Fa’arodo.

Ultimately the damage was already done, with the Solomon Islands unable to turn around the huge deficit opened up in the first leg thrashing.

The All Whites will now wait to learn their next opponent for World Cup qualification, set to face the fifth placed side in the South American confederation for a place at next year’s tournament in Russia.

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