Thursday, September 6, 2007
Fiji, New Caledonia advance in World Cup qualifiers
APIA, Samoa, Sept 6 (Reuters) - New Caledonia rallied to beat Solomon Islands 3-2 in the Oceania region's World Cup qualifiers in Apia, Samoa on Wednesday, sealing the win with the last kick of the match to advance.
They are joined in the final of the football tournament at
the South Pacific Games by Fiji, who won 3-0 over Vanuatu.
New Caledonia went 2-1 down just after half-time but
overwhelmed the opposition in the closing stages before Yohann
Mercier scored the winner.
The Solomon Islands, who were the pre-tournament
favourites, had both Alick Maemae and Gideon Omokirio sent off
in the last 22 minutes of the match.
Osea Vakatalesau scored his 10th goal in five games at the
competition as Fiji kept up their unbeaten run and ensured a
repeat of the gold medal match at the last South Pacific Games
The games are being used as the first stage of the 2010
World Cup qualifiers in Oceania.
Fiji and New Caledonia both advance to the group phase of
the Oceania regional qualifiers, where they will play in a
league competition with New Zealand and the winner of Friday's
bronze medal match between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.