Georges Gope-Fenepej scored a hat-trick as New Caledonia beat the Solomon Islands 6-2 in OFC World Cup qualifying on Friday.
In the third round of qualification through Oceania, New Caledonia are now just goal difference behind New Zealand after a terrific team performance in Honiara.
The winners took the lead after eight minutes when Roy Kayara opened the scoring but parity was restored 11 minutes before the break.
Tutizama Tanito’s goal looked to be enough to see both sides head into at half-time locked at 1-1.
But Gope-Fenepej had other ideas, slotting his first in injury time to put New Caledonia in front.
The Solomon Islands produced another equaliser when Joses Nawo netted on 63 minutes before the winners finished with a flourish.
They scored four goals in the final 12 minutes, triggered by an own goal from Solomon Islands defender Emmanuel Poila.
Gope-Fenepej, who plays for French club Troyes, then got his second before Jacques Haeko got in on the act as well.
And there was still time for Gope-Fenepej to get another, netting his hat-trick in injury time to cap a superb away win for Alain Moizan’s side.
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