New Zealand can start planning for Tokyo 2020 ©OFC

New Zealand's footballers are going to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, after defeating the Solomon Islands 5-0 in the final of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Lautoka's Churchill Park.

The Kiwis were clear favourites, having topped Group A with a 6-1 victory over Samoa, a 12-0 drubbing of American Samoa and a 4-2 triumph over today's opponents.

Fiji were disposed of easily, 6-1 in the semi-finals, so the pressure of expectation was on Des Buckingham's side.

The men in white were desperate for a good start - and they got it within 10 minutes.

Ben Waine's cross landed at the feet of Logan Rogerson, who fired home from close range.

The Solomons created a couple of chances, through Tuita Meaobia and Darold Kakasi, before Myer Bevan delivered a two-goal cushion for New Zealand, pouncing on a goalkeeping mistake.

When Waine scored just before the break to make it 3-0, the Solomons had a mountain to climb.

It was all too easy for New Zealand ©Getty Images
It was all too easy for New Zealand ©Getty Images

Bevan's second goal on 67 minutes effectively guaranteed victory, and Billy Jones headed home a corner to seal the comprehensive win.

 It will be New Zealand’s third Olympic appearance and Buckingham was obviously delighted.

"Solomons are a good team and they have changed a few things, and for us to stick to our game plan, we wanted to get better in every game and that final was the perfect game.

"I can’t quite put it into words, it’s an unbelievable feeling right now.

"It's very emotional but I'm very pleased and proud for this playing group.

"Not just the 20 that we have here, but the 70 or 80 that have been part of this journey and will continue to be part of it over the next eight or nine months," Buckingham said.

In a much closer affair, hosts Fiji were desperate to seal third place in the playoff with Vanuatu, having lost to them 1-0 in the group phase.

The first half was a nip-and-tuck, scoreless affair, with more chances being created in the second half.

Unfortunately for Fiji, history repeated itself when Azariah Soromon scored for Vanuatu with just 15 minutes left, after good work by Bong Kalo.

"Credit to the boys, we just wanted to take something back home to our supporters and we want to thank Fiji too for a good game in our last match of the tournament," said Wilkins Lauru, Vanuatu assistant coach.

Fiji represented Oceania at the Rio 2016 Olympics, with New Zealand having previously competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympiads.

Men's Olympic football is played with under-23 players, although three overage players are allowed.