New Zealand are continuing to be conservative in their matches at the Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament, relying on a goal in each half to edge Papua New Guinea 2-1 on Monday and to stay atop Group B.
Later, the Solomon Islands drew 0-0 with Fiji to stay on track for the semi-finals. The host now have a win and a draw from two games and are second in Group B behind New Zealand, who have all but clinched a semi-final place.
Shane Smeltz gave New Zealand a 1-0 lead after two minutes when he headed home a Jeremy Brockie cross and Bristol City striker Chris Wood added the second in the 53rd off a Smeltz pass.
Papua New Guinea pulled one back when substitute Neil Hans scored from the penalty spot two minutes before fulltime.
Facing the prospect of playing six games in 10 days to win the tournament, New Zealand, favourite to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, placed an emphasis on conserving energy in extreme heat and on a deteriorating pitch.
All 14 matches at the eight-team Oceania Nations Cup are being played on the same pitch at the Lawson Tama Stadium in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara. After only three days, the pitch is beginning to show signs of wear.
Temperatures have reached 35 degrees Celsius and New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has been careful to ensure his players don't overstretch themselves too early in the tournament.
Herbert, a defender in the New Zealand team which reached the 1982 World Cup, resumed an old rivalry on Monday with Papua New Guinea coach, the former Australia international Frank Farina. The pair clashed on many occasions during their playing careers but met on Monday for the first time as coaches.
The winner of the current tournament will represent Oceania at the 2013 Confederations Cup while the semi-finalists will all progress to the next stage of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
New Zealand represented the Oceania region at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, drawing all three of their group matches.