New Zealand are now strong favourites to complete the job against the Solomon Islands in Honiara on Tuesday and qualify for the inter-continental World Cup play-off against the fifth-placed South American side in November.
After being outclassed 6-1 in the first leg in Auckland last week, the Solomon Islands produced a performance of enormous character to rally from 2-0 down for only their second draw in 12 matches against New Zealand.
New Zealand went 2-0 up inside the first quarter, firstly through striker Myer Bevan.
The victor of the tie will go on to face the fifth-place team from South American's qualifying section in a final play-off tie to determine who will be at next year's finals in Russian Federation.
Coach Anthony Hudson was pleased the All Whites emerged relatively unscathed against a physical approach from the hosts.
"You have to give credit to the home team".
"They were giving everything and playing for pride".
Despite an enterprising start, the home side's defensive frailties were again to the fore when they failed to clear a loose ball and Bevan poked home a 14th-minute rebound.
The visitors went ahead in the 14th minute through Myer Bevan's first global goal after he turned home Kosta Barbarouses' cross at the second attempt. Lea'alafa, who missed the first match because of a visa problem, showed his worth when he scored from the penalty spot in the 28th and Fa'arodo equalized in the 77th. "I think for us it was a very good score".
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