Smeltz shoots down Jordan
On the same night Bahrain edged out Saudi Arabia to advance from their play-off to meet the Oceania champions for a place at next year's FIFA World Cup™ finals, Gold Coast United frontman Smeltz scored in either half as New Zealand overcame the first half dismissal of Ivan Vicelich.
Jordan opened the scoring after only two minutes as Hattem Aqel's free-kick surprised New Zealand goalkeeper Mark Paston. The home side came close to a second just two minutes later but this time Wellington Phoenix custodian Paston turned away Qusai Abu Alieh's shot from just outside the area.
Despite Bahrain's early dominance, New Zealand equalised after 18 minutes as Phoenix midfielder Leo Bertos was fouled inside the area and A-league leading scorer Smeltz made no mistake from the penalty spot. The visitors were reduced to 10 men two minutes before the break when Auckland's Vicelich picked up a second yellow card.
However, New Zealand took the lead a minute later as Jordan goalkeeper Amer Shafi failed to deal with a corner allowing Rory Fallon to head home. And Smeltz, who has scored five goals in eight games for A-League leaders Gold Coast United, sealed the win five minutes after the hour mark as the former Wellington striker turned home a cross from Central Coast Mariners midfielder Michael McGlinchey.
After Bahrain dramatically earned a 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh to advance on the away goals rule, New Zealand will travel to Manama on 10 October before hosting the second leg at the Westpac Stadium on 14 November, with the winner earning a trip to South Africa 2010.
Jordan, meanwhile, continue their preparations for November's AFC Asian Cup qualifiers against Iran with friendlies against Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.