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New Zealand hammer Solomon Islands in WC qualifying

New Zealand have beaten Solomon Islands 6-1 in their Oceania World Cup qualifier in Auckland.

The All Whites made it two wins from outings following their 2-0 win in New Caledonia on Friday to go top of the table in Oceania.

Perth Glory ace Shane Smeltz kicked off proceedings in the 12th minute before Kosta Barbarouses made it a two-goal lead prior to the break.

Solomon Islands captain Henry Fa'arodo got one back for his side early in the second half but from then on it was all New Zealand with Chris Killen, Tony Lochhead, Chris Wood and Marco Rojas all adding to the scoreline.

Despite the apparent ease of the win, All Whites skipper Ryan Nelsen suggested that the Solomon side were hard to break down, particularly early.

"Probably in the first 30 minutes it was a bit hard," Nelsen said.

"We knew they'd throw people at us up top defensively and try to pressure us.

"We had to go back to front pretty quickly and we knew if we got the timing right we'd get in behind them.

"It didn't work in the first half as we'd like but in the second half we ground them down."

New Zealand next meet Tahiti in Pirae on October 12 whilst the Solomon Islands will host New Caledonia on the same date.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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