Tommy Smith’s last-gasp winner seals New Zealand a World Cup play-off place

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH Town defender Tommy Smith scored in the fourth minute of injury-time to earn New Zealand a last-gasp 2-1 victory over New Caledonia in a World Cup qualifier in Dunedin this morning.

Smith, named vice-captain of the All Whites earlier this week, headed home his second international goal to confirm his side’s place in a play-off for a place at the 2014 World Cup.

The 22-year-old said: “I just attacked the ball and got really lucky.”

Chris Killen had put New Zealand in front in the 10th minute but Cesar Lolohea equalised for New Caledonia 10 minutes after the break.

The All Whites will now take on the side from the CONCACAF (North America) region who finish fourth in their qualifying group, in home and away fixtures in November.

Smith could win his 23rd international cap when New Zealand face the Soloman Islands in Honiara on Tuesday, although manager Ricki Herbert has said he will rest players in that dead rubber of a final group game.