COLCHESTER United skipper Tommy Smith helped New Zealand qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Intercontinental Play-Off.

The U's defender, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today, played the full 90 minutes in his side's emphatic 5-0 win over the Solomon Islands, in the final of the Oceania Qualifiers.

Bill Tuiloma scored two powerful headers for the All Whites from set plays.

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood was also on target, along with Joe Bell and Matt Garbett as Danny Hay’s side claimed victory in Doha.

New Zealand head coach Danny Hay said: “I’ve been really proud of the way the players have approached it, super professional approach.

"We came here to do a job and we’ve don’t that. We are excited now to look forward to June.”

New Zealand dominated throughout, playing arguably their best game of the tournament.

They will return to Qatar in June where they will be bidding to help a New Zealand men’s team book a FIFA World Cup for only the third time.

Smith has now made 46 appearances for his country.

The 32-year-old continued his record as the only player to have played a role in each of Danny Hay’s nine All Whites games.

Smith has made 30 league and cup appearances for Colchester so far, this season.

The former Ipswich Town defender has clocked up 77 appearances in total for the U's since joining them in the summer of 2020.

He is travelling back to England today, in readiness for Colchester's trip to play Harrogate Town in League Two, on Saturday.