DOHA, Qatar – Following the club’s away match at FC Dallas last weekend, defender Bill Tuiloma traveled around the globe to join his New Zealand National Team teammates in the Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament.
And just days after hopping off the plane, Tuiloma helped New Zealand close out group play in dominating fashion, with a 7-1 victory over New Caledonia at Suheim bin Hamad Stadium. Tuiloma entered the match as a substitute in the 71st minute and scored a header off a corner kick just 10 minutes later.
Entering the match against New Caledonia, New Zealand had already secured their place in the tournament’s semifinal with wins in their first two matches of group play against Papua New Guinea and Fiji, even prior to Tuiloma’s arrival in Qatar.
As the Group B-winner, New Zealand will face Tahiti – which finished second in Group A – in the Oceania semifinal on Sunday, March 27; kickoff is 10:30 a.m. (Pacific). The other semifinal features the Solomon Islands against Papua New Guinea.
The Oceania tournament final will be held Thursday, March 31, with the winner progressing to an Intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed Concacaf side for a place at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Before he left for Qatar, Tuiloma talked about the Oceania tournament and representing New Zealand as part of a conversation with FOX 12 Oregon's Nick Krupke.
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