New Zealand beats New Caledonia 2-0 in WCup qualifier

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) " Marco Rojas scored twice as New Zealand beat New Caledonia 2-0 Saturday in an Oceania football World Cup qualifying match.

Rojas put New Zealand ahead 1-0 with a 42nd minute strike which was only partially stopped by New Caledonia goalkeeper Thomas Schmidt. He made the game safe in the 72nd minute when Chris Wood back-heeled Monty Patterson's cross to Rojas who finished well.

New Zealand is drawn with New Caledonia and Fiji in Group A in the third stage of qualifying in the Oceania region. Tahiti, drawn with Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in Group B, opened its campaign with a 1-0 win over the Solomons on Friday.

The group winners play each other in a two-leg playoff in August 2017. The winner then advances to an inter-confederation playoff against the fifth-placed team in South America.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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