New Zealand and Fiji clashed on Sunday in the second round of OFC World Cup qualifiers at the Qatar SC Stadium. The All Whites were overwhelming favorites for the match and made sure to show it on the pitch by dominating the actions from the first minute of the game.
The first chance came with Chris Wood in the sixth minute after a good cross by Ben Waine – the Newcastle striker headed and Fijian defender Atonio Tuivuna cleared the ball close to the goal line.
The All Whites continued to press their opponents and they almost scored when Chris Wood took advantage after Remueru Tekiate‘s mistake. Marko Stamenic also had an opportunity to score when his shot hit the post in the 24th minute.
In the 44th minute Clayton Lewis found Chris Wood in the box on a perfect free-kick, the striker headed it home to tie Vaughan Coveny as the highest scorer in the history of the New Zealand National Team – but it did not last long.
In the second half, the All Whites continued to put Fiji against the wall and they managed to score two goals in a row. The first one was netted by Elijah Just while Chris Wood scored his second goal of the day to become the national team’s all-time leading scorer. In the 75th minute, Sairusi Nalaubu had a chance to score for Fiji, but Oli Sail saved it.
After making a series of substitutions, New Zealand still had a penalty awarded by the referee. Clayton Lewis took the penalty and scored his first ever goal for New Zealand at senior level – the fourth and last for his side in the match. You can check all the four goals of the contest by clicking here.
New Zealand’s next match will be against New Caledonia while Fiji will meet Papua New Guinea in a do-or-die match to decide a spot in the semifinals. The Kapuls have the advantage of a draw – so the Bula Boys need a win to advance.
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