New Zealand have qualified for Canada 2007 after winning the
2007 Oceania Football Confederation U-20 Championship .
Although the young All Whites entered the competition as favourites, they had to wait until the final day of the competition before booking a place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in the country's history.
A 1-1 draw in their opening match against the Solomon Islands, plus an incredible run of four consecutive victories by Fiji saw Stu Jacobs' side languishing in second place until the two teams met on Saturday.
At the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere's Trust Stadium, New Zealand triumphed 3-2, in a match which saw two Fijian players sent off.
That result put the tournament hosts top of the table for the first time and in pole position to qualify for Canada, although they were forced to endure a nervous final day before their passage was secured.
The All Whites' player of the tournament, Fulham midfielder Chris James, missed two first-half penalties against New Caledonia, but scored a last minute winner to ensure qualification.
Coach Jacobs was overjoyed afterwards as New Zealand, who finished four points clear of Fiji, became the 22nd qualifiers for the 24-team FIFA U-20 World Cup which takes place in Canada between 30 June and 22 July.
"I said to them I don't care how you win just as long as you win, we're off to a World Cup so I'm not complaining," he said.
"People can say we've made hard work of it but as I've said the whole tournament, the Island teams aren't easy to beat anymoreas Tahiti have shown against Fiji - and New Caledonia and Fiji has shown against us.
"We have to remember not too many people get to a World Cup… it's certainly the biggest achievement in my football career to date."
1. New Zealand (16 pts.)
2. Fiji (12 pts.)
3. Solomon Islands (11 pts.)
4. New Caledonia (9 pts.)
5. Tahiti (7 pts.)
6. Vanuatu (5 pts.)
7. Samoa (0 pts.)