The biggest clash of 2017 is less than two months away with New Zealand and Solomon Islands meeting on 1 September at QBE Stadium in Auckland for the first leg of their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers – OFC Stage 3 final before travelling to Solomon Islands for leg two at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara on 5 September.
New Zealand earned their place in the final round of Stage 3 after blitzing through Group A with a win and a draw against New Caledonia, followed by two wins against Fiji. The 2016 OFC Nations Cup champions will be the first to enjoy the home advantage when they meet Solomon Islands on the North Shore of New Zealand’s largest city.
Solomon Islands had a much tougher journey to the final, having to fend off both Tahiti and Papua New Guinea to secure their place in the final against New Zealand. A narrow 1-0 loss to New Zealand during the group stage of the 2016 OFC Nations Cup, shows the side has the ability to challenge the region’s front-runners.
The first leg of the OFC Stage 3 final will kick off at QBE Stadium on 1 September at 19h35 (NZT) followed by the second leg at Lawson Tama Stadium on 5 September at 14h00 (local time).
The aggregate winner of the two clashes will continue to the two-legged Intercontinental Play-off against CONMEBOL’s fifth placed team in November to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.