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NZ beats Papua New Guinea 2-1 in WCup qualifying

India TV News Desk 04 Jun 2012, 9:50:17 IST
India TV News Desk
Honiara, Solomon Islands, Jun 4:New Zealand continued to take a conservative approach to its matches at the Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament, relying on a goal in each half to edge Papua New Guinea 2-1 on Monday and to stay atop Group B.

Shane Smeltz gave New Zealand a 1-0 lead after two minutes when he headed home a Jeremy Brockie cross and Bristol City striker Chris Wood added the second in the 53rd off a Smeltz pass.

Papua New Guinea pulled one back when substitute Neil Hans scored from the penalty spot two minutes before fulltime.

Facing the prospect of playing six games in 10 days to win the tournament, New Zealand, favorite to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, placed an emphasis on conserving energy in extreme heat and on a deteriorating pitch.