Tommy Smith stars but New Zealand defeated

TOMMY Smith was a standout performer for New Zealand but was unable to prevent the All Whites falling to a 3-2 home defeat by Jamaica.

Reports in New Zealand praised the Ipswich Town defender’s 90 minutes in his country’s last friendly before they start their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Chris Wood, who ironically could line up against Smith in Town’s home match against Bristol City on Saturday, and Chris Killen scored for New Zealand at the Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, while Smith went close to grabbing a late equaliser but saw his header go narrowly over.

It remains to be seen whether the centre-back, who is out of contract in the summer, retains his Ipswich place for the weekend following his international excursions.

Blues boss Paul Jewell might be tempted to start with Damien Delaney and fit-again Ibrahima Sonko.

Young Town midfielder Josh Carson, fresh from signing his new contract, will be hoping to cap a memorable week by starting for Northern Ireland tonight against Norway in Michael O’Neill’s first match in charge.