The All Whites have been handed a major boost ahead of tonight's World Cup qualifying match, with one of the Solomon Islands' key players ruled out due to a visa issue.

The New Zealand Herald understands that midfielder Micah Lea'alafa wasn't able to make the trip to this country, after the federation failed to secure his visitor visa in time.

There was a last ditch effort yesterday, to no avail, and Leafala'a will watch the game from Honiara.

It's a significant blow for the Bonitos, and removes a major headache for the New Zealand side.


Lea'alafa is one of the Solomon Islands' most dangerous attacking weapons, with his pace and skill on the ball. He is also more used to the big stages than some of his teammates, having played at the Fifa Club World Cup with Auckland City, and his experience of the local football scene here would have been beneficial.

Lea'alafa could have troubled the All Whites defence, as the 26-year-old is the kind of player that can create something out of nothing and generate opportunities from scraps of possession.

Without him, the Solomons attack has less of a cutting edge, decreasing the probability of a vital away goal.

The match at QBE Stadium kicks off at 7:30pm.