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Fallon rejects criticism of All Whites

NZN 12/06/2016

Striker Rory Fallon has dismissed criticism of the All Whites' style of play as they secured the Oceania Nations Cup, saying winning is what it's all about.

New Zealand needed a penalty shoot-out to get past hosts Papua New Guinea in the final in Port Moresby, after neither side managed to a goal in 120 minutes of play.

"I don't care for the purists," Fallon said.

"I just care about winning. That's the only thing that matters."

Fallon, who lifted the trophy in the absence of regular skipper Chris Wood, said both teams were trying hard not to concede a goal.

"Sometimes that's the way football goes; sometimes it has to go to penalties," he said.

"It's a horrible way to lose for PNG because they did so well, but I think we deserved it overall throughout the whole tournament."

England-based Fallon had gone into the event wanting to exorcise the ghost of Honiara.

The 34-year-old took part in the last tournament in the Solomon Islands four years ago, when the All Whites fell to a shock semi-final loss to New Caledonia.

"To win this is well up there with everything I have done in my football career," Fallon, who played in the 2010 World Cup, said.

"To get an international trophy with a New Zealand team is really difficult, so we're going to savour this moment."

The Oceania Nations Cup is a stage in the qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup.

By winning, the All Whites also booked themselves a spot in the lucrative Confederations Cup in Russia next year.

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