Solomon Football > News > FIFA World Cup&153; Qualifiers Stage 3 > All Whites maintain dominance

All Whites maintain dominance

A spirited Solomon Islands took to the park with a desire to get their nation’s maiden win over New Zealand but found themselves on the wrong side of the score-line at fulltime. This is despite maintaining control of significant passages of play through the match.
Disappointed but not dissatisfied Solomon Islands head coach, Jacob Moli, decided to focus on his team’s strengths rather than weakness and says that despite having mostly new and inexperienced players they represented their country with pride.
“Today was a very tough match for our team which is dominated by new players. However, I want to thank them for showing heart and proving themselves against a quality team like New Zealand. We matched our opponents in many aspects of the match but we gave them space to play at crucial times and this cost us,” Moli says.
For winning coach, Ricki Herbert, the victory is yet another chapter in a story that he hopes will take his country to their third FIFA World Cup&153; final.
“I think we played extremely well today under very tough conditions. We did not have the full team here today but am pleased with how the home (New Zealand) players stood up today to finish the job,” says Herbet.
“Overall the competition has been very good and we were tested quite well by New Caledonia. Thus, it is very good that we finish with six wins out of six in the competition. This has taken us to where want to be and where we ought to be, on top.”
The match got off to pulsating start but it was only New Zealand that were playing as the Solomon Islands engines took their time to warm up. It was clear that New Zealand wanted to get a goal as early as possible and manage proceedings from thereon. Tim Payne provided the goal in as early as the fourth minute and it took everyone by complete surprise especially since most fans had not yet taken their seats.
Solomon Islands were up and running from the tenth minute and started troubling the New Zealand defence who were good enough to keep them at bay. Even the normally speedy Benjamin Totori could not find a way past the All Whites defenders because he attracted two defenders every time he has the ball. The match then turned stagnant as New Zealand kept the bulk of their players in their own half and allowed the Bonitos to do all the running. Occasionally, the All Whites returned with counterattacks that were characterised by three players moving in formation while stringing together long passes.
New Zealand adjusted their game in the second half to be more proactive and it seemed that their plan from the first half was falling in place as the Bonitos started to run out of steam. This gave them more confidence to attack but Samson Koti was excellent in goal and made some very close saves.
As the final whistle approached New Zealand drove forward with more frequency and finally got the massively important buffer goal just two minutes before full time. Once again it was Payne who delivered after he hammered home a rebounded shot from Kosta Barbouroses.
The result sends seals Solomon Islands place at the bottom of the 2014 FIFA World Cup&153; Qualifiers Stage 3. New Zealand, on the other hand, have had a hugely successful campaign and will play the fourth placed CONCACAF team in November to determine if they qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup&153; finals in Brazil.

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