New Zealand moved to within one win of a third appearance at the World Cup finals on Wednesday when they brushed aside the Solomon Islands 5-0 in the Oceania qualifying zone final.
The Kiwis, who reached the global showpiece in 1982 and 2010, will now face the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF region for a spot in the finals in Qatar later this year.
Barring upset results, those opponents are likely to be Costa Rica with the crucial game set for Doha on either June 13 or 14.
Defender Bill Tuiloma, who plays his club football in the MLS with Portland, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute.
Newcastle United’s Chris Wood, the New Zealand skipper, added the second before the interval.
Midfielder Joe Bell of Brondby in Denmark, who had set up the first goal, made it 3-0 early in the second period.
Tuiloma added the fourth on 69 minutes with teenage Torino player Matthew Garbett tucking away the fifth in stoppage time.
New Zealand also defeated the Solomon Islands 8-3 over two legs in the final qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
However, they were then beaten 2-0 by Peru in an inter-contintenal play-off.
World Cup News
/ 16 hours ago
FIFA on Saturday confirmed that three bids to host the Women’s World Cup in...
/ 3 weeks ago
A set of six jerseys that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World...
/ 1 month ago
Saudi Arabia is prepared to host the 2034 World Cup in summer or winter,...
/ 1 month ago
Saudi Arabia is in line to host the 2034 World Cup after FIFA announced...