Fiji have pulled off the biggest upset of New Zealand 2015 thus far, beating Honduras 3-0 for the country's first-ever win at a FIFA tournament.
It was an incredible victory for the Oceanian underdogs, beaten 8-1 by Germany in their FIFA U-20 World Cup opener, and Frank Farina's side now stand a genuine chance of reaching the last 16. Their beaten opponents also remain in contention thanks to their previous win over Uzbekistan, but face the might of Germany in their concluding Group F fixture.
Honduras had initially been the first to settle following a pre-match downpour in Christchurch and even had the ball in the net through Alberth Elis, who was rightly ruled offside. But the Fijians weathered that early storm and responded with a sensational 14th-minute opener.
The Hondurans, in truth, were their own worst enemies, failing to usher the ball out for a goal kick and allowing Setareki Hughes to sneak in and cut it back. The recipient of his pass was club team-mate and best friend Iosefo Verevou - scorer of Fiji's first goal in a FIFA tournament - and again he proved deadly, firing powerfully into the far corner.
The Fijians looked almost as shocked as their opponents to have gone ahead, but the picture was to become even brighter for them just five minutes later. That was when Saula Waqa doubled their tally with a strike that, while hardly a thing of beauty, was celebrated more wildly than any goal of the tournament contender. Verevou was again involved, hitting the crossbar following an indirect free-kick from 12 yards, and while Waqa mis-kicked his initial attempt at connecting with the rebound, his second, sliced shot looped and spun beyond the stranded Cristian Hernandez.
This was already shaping up to be the shock of the tournament but there was yet another sensation to come, as Fiji raced into a remarkable 3-0 lead in the final minute of the half. Rubbing salt into Honduran wounds was the fact that this latest strike went down as an own goal, with defender Kevin Alvarez deflecting the ball in after Atonio Tuivuna had climbed highest to win a Fiji corner.
The Central Americans were evidently stunned and, while they pushed forward for the remainder of the game, it was with some ease that Fiji held them at bay. On the rare occasions when Los Catrachos did succeed in picking holes in the Oceanians' defence, they found Misiwani Nairube an impenetrable barrier, with the keeper producing outstanding saves to deny Carlos Moncada and Junior Lacayo.
Fiji's conquering heroes now march on to face Uzbekistan on Sunday, while Honduras must pick themselves up for the challenge posed by the European champions.