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OFC Nations Cup wrap: All Whites bow out, Tahiti through

New Zealand suffered a shock 2-0 loss to New Caledonia in the OFC Nations Cup semi-finals on Friday.

Ricki Herbert’s men, ranked 55 spots higher their minnow opponents, conceded two second-half goals to slump to defeat at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.

New Caledonia will face Tahiti in the final of the tournament on Sunday, while the All Whites meet the Solomon Islands in the third-place play-off on the same day.

In the two previous meetings with New Caledonia, New Zealand had won both and conceded just one goal.

But they fell behind on the hour-mark when Bertrand Kai struck his fourth goal of this year’s tournament.

Georges Gope-Fenepej struck the sealer in the second minute of additional time as New Caledonia completed a famous win.

In the other semi-final, Jonathan Tehau’s 16th-minute winner gave Tahiti a 1-0 victory over the Solomon Islands.

The winner of Sunday’s final will compete at next year’s Confederations Cup against the likes of hosts Brazil, world and European champions Spain and Copa America winners Uruguay.

Fri 8 June, 2012
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