Chris Wood grabbed another slice of New Zealand football history on Friday night at QBE stadium.

His hat trick in the 6-1 win over the Solomon Islands took him up to third on the all-time scorers list for the All Whites, past a couple of legendary names.

Wood (23 goals) only trails Shane Smeltz (24) and Vaughan Coveny (29), and it is surely just a matter of time before he passes them both.

His first goal on Friday night edged Wood past the late Steve Sumner, and his sumptuous second strike (a delightful chipped finish with the arc of a pitching wedge) moved Wood ahead of Brian Turner, whose international career spanned 15 years.


Like any striker Wood loves finding the net, but says such historical milestones aren't motivating factors for him.

"I'm sure when I finish playing they will mean a lot more but for now it's not about that," said Wood. "My goal and the team's goal is the [2018] World Cup. We need to take that a step at a time and that comes with Tuesday night."

But Wood remains the key man for the remaining steps - which will be daunting against South American opposition in November - and underlined his importance on Friday night.

If there were any casual Kiwi sports fans still wondering what all the fuss was about, following the intense focus on Wood in the build up to this match, he provided a graphic illustration on Friday night.

There was an element of good fortune in the lead up to his first two goals, especially the second after an untimely slip by Solomon's defender Nelson Sale, but both of the finishes were top drawer.

Wood was a constant menace all night, and his well struck 93rd minute free kick for his third, from 25 yards out, showed his current confidence.

Solomon's coach Felipe Vega-Arango admitted his game plan had been centred around blunting the Burnley striker, but conceded post-match it was a fruitless task.

"My plan was simple," said Vega-Arango. "Five at the back, one of them, man to man cover [on Wood]. It's the only thing you can do. He plays in the Premier League, [he] just signed a huge contract and the other day at Wembley [he] scored a equalising goal against Tottenham. We are talking about Tottenham, not Solomon Warriors, with all my respect to Solomon Warriors, and we didn't do the job. It's tough; you want to stop him but how do you stop him?"

But beyond his goals, Wood stood out for his all round play. His vision was one step ahead of most others on the field, and he rarely wasted a pass. The captain also worked hard, at one stage tracking back close to his own penalty area to win the ball.

"He was exceptional," said teammate Ryan Thomas. "This is the kind of game you want him playing for the national team. He has a busy schedule now - being in the Premier League again - [so] coming in, having three or four days to train and scoring a hat trick like he did, it was very good for us."

His haul was also just the second All Whites triple in more than a decade, and the first since Wood hit three against the same opposition in Honiara in 2012.

"I've always had the belief and confidence throughout my whole career, said Wood, which asked how he had progressed since 2012.

"I had to come on. I've changed a lot, I've learned a lot and I'll learn a lot when I am 30 in five years time. I've still got a lot to learn, lot to achieve and I am sure I will progress well."