SOLOMON ISLANDS: Remarkably, Tahiti or New Caledonia will be facing the giants of Brazil & Co in the Confederations Cup in South America next year after reaching Sunday’s final of the Oceania Nations Cup here.

Along the way New Caledonia inflicted probably the most embarrasing defeat in the history of New Zealand football in their semi-final here. A Pacific Island nation will thus appear in the Confederations Cup for the first time.

The victors both came from Group A with the pair having an extra day to recover after New Zealand and Solomon Islands completed their group stage fixtures on Wednesday. Tahiti opened the scoring against Solomon Islands through a 15th-minute header from Jonathan Tehau which also proved the 1-0 match-winner.

New Caledonia claimed the finest result in their footballing history with a 2-0 win over New Zealand – 1910 World Cup finalists – on second-half goals from Bertrand Kai and Georges Gope-Fenepej. Jacques Haeko also hit a post while the All Whites’ were unlucky to see Michael McGlinchey denied by the bar when they were only trailing by one goal.

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