New Zealand held on for a 1-0 victory over Fiji in their opening match of Oceania World Cup Qualifying Group B.
A poor goalkeeping error allowed captain Tommy Smith in to score the only goal of the game in the ninth minute at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.
Fiji had several chances in the second half to equalise but were denied by some desperate defence from New Zealand.
The Kiwis were dealt a blow when goalkeeper Mark Paston was substituted following a knee to the head in the second half.
He was replaced by Jake Gleeson, who ensured New Zealand notched consecutive clean sheets for the first time since 2009.
In the other match in Group B, the Solomon Islands scored early through Benjamin Totori to get their campaign off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win over Papua New Guinea.
The matches were part of the Oceania Nations Cup, which doubles as the second stage of Oceania qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!