Solomon Football > News > FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Stage 3 > Watered-down All Whites arrive today

Watered-down All Whites arrive today

New Zealand will arrive in a relaxed mood after their 2-1 victory over New Caledonia in Dunedin secured them a right to proceed to the next stage of the qualifying process for the FIFA World CupTM. They will go on to play a fourth-placed country in the CONCACAF region to determine if they make it to their second consecutive FIFA World CupTM finals.
However, local fans will not have the privilege of seeing a full strength All Whites team after it was revealed by New Zealand Football that the bulk of the top players are not travelling to Honiara. Several players including Shane Smeltz, who received a gash to the head in the New Caledonia game, will also miss out due to injury. In fact only 14 players will be making the trip after the All Whites management released most of their European based players.
“Now the job is done we have an opportunity to rest our injured players and manage the yellow card situation,” says New Zealand head coach Ricki Herbert. “We can also help manage the workload of our players at this busy time of year with a view to the November playoff matches.”
Aaron Clapham, Cameron Lindsay, Luke Rowe and Aaron Scott come into the New Zealand side with new All Whites captain Winston Reid, Chris Killen Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Shane Smeltz, Tommy Smith, Ivan Vicelich and Chris Wood all released from the squad. Clapham, Rowe and Scott are selected off the back of impressive seasons in the ASB Premiership for Canterbury United, Team Wellington and Waitakere United respectively.
For the home side the situation has turned from bad to worse. After sitting comfortably on the third position in the Stage 3 table, Solomon Islands has slipped to bottom following a 2-0 loss to Tahiti on Friday (Saturday Solomon Islands time). This piles on additional pressure on head coach Jacob Moli who yesterday named his squad of 18 players for the home game.
However, news that New Zealand will bring in a watered down side may settle nerves in Moli’s men. This may even be Solomon Islands’ best chance to extract its first win over New Zealand but the head coach of the home side has not given much thought to the hype.
Moli says that New Zealand are not travelling here to play out a loss and no complacency should be allowed to creep in by any of his players.
“I am pretty confident that New Zealand will not come here with a relaxed attitude, they are professionals and I know they will want to win,” Moli says.
“They have the capability and everything else is on their side and our job is to make sure they don’t. I really look forward to this match and am sure that it will be entertaining and competitive.”
Match details: 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Solomon Islands v New Zealand
Lawson Tama, Honiara, Solomon Islands Tuesday 26th March, 2013 Kickoff: 3:00pm
Solomon Islands line-up: Leon Fox, Samson Koti, George Wagena, Adika Maeta, Arnold Keni, Freddie Kini, David Houpere, Coleman Makau, Tutizama Tanito, Himson Teleda, Leonard Rokoto, Paul Hiri and Henry Fa’arodo Jnr., Joe Luwi, Ian Paia, Clifford Wate, Tinoni Ratu and Benjamin Totori.
New Zealand line-up: Mark Paston, Aaron Scott, Ben Sigmund, Leo Bertos, Luke Rowe, Jacob Spoonley, Dan Keat, Ian Hogg, Cameron Lindsay, Jeremy Brockie, Kosta Barbarouses, Tim Payne, Aaron Clapham, Andrew Durante.

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