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By ESPN Staff
Sep 4, 2007

Vanuatu progress in World Cup qualifiers

APIA, Samoa, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Seule Soromon scored a first half hat-trick to help Vanuatu beat Tonga 4-1 in Apia, Samoa on Monday, giving them a place in the semi-finals of Oceania's first stage of regional qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.

Vanuatu now play Fiji in the last four of the South Pacific Games, which are being used as the first stage of qualifiers.

New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands, both of whom had already made sure of their progress last week, will play in Wednesday's other semi-final.

The Solomon Islands finished as the only team with a 100 percent record after the group phase, ending the slim hopes of hosts Samoa in a 3-0 win on Monday.

Benjamin Totori scored twice in the first half and substitute Alick Maemae added a third as the Solomon Islands finished top of Group B.

Group A ended in Fiji's favour, but only on goal difference over New Caledonia after the two sides drew 1-1. Fiji were forced to fight back after New Caledonia captain Pierre Wajoka had given his country the lead just before the interval.

Three players were sent off as Tahiti won an acrimonious tie against the Cook Islands in Monday's other tie. Both countries had already been eliminated from the competition.

The three medal winners at the South Pacific Games advance to the next phase of the Oceania qualifiers, playing a league competition with top seeds New Zealand, starting next month.