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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

World Cup qualifying: New Zealand and Solomon Islands make winning starts

Chris Wood, New Zealand
Chris Wood wrapped up New Zealand's win from the spot.

New Zealand made a winning start to their Oceania Nations Cup Group B campaign when they beat Fiji 3-1 in Papua New Guinea to boost their World Cup qualifying bid.

The All Whites took the lead after 16 minutes when Themi Tzimopoulos scored his first international goal and seemed in complete control when Rory Fallon added a second three minutes before half-time.

Fiji cut the deficit in first-half stoppage time when striker Roy Krishna converted from the penalty spot.

But New Zealand wrapped up the victory when captain Chris Wood struck -- also from the penalty spot -- after a handball just after the hour mark, and could have added to their tally late in the match.

A goal from Jerry Donga was enough to give Solomon Islands a 1-0 win over Vanuatu, also in Group B.

Benjamin Totori played a pass through to Donga, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Seiloni Iaruel -- and although Vanuatu hit back after the break they were unable to find an equaliser.

The winner of the competition qualifies for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and the event also serves as the second round of the 2018 World Cup qualification for the Oceania region, with the top three teams from each of the two groups going through.

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