New Zealand booked their place in the final phase of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after recording a 2-1 victory over New Caledonia in front of 7138 fans at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
A 94th minute goal from Ipswich Town forward Tommy Smith saved the All Whites their blushes in what turned out to be a far from straightforward game for the Oceania favourites in their penultimate group stage game.
Chris Killen's first-half header was cancelled out by a superb goal from Cesar Lolohea after the break, the New Caledonia midfielder taking the ball down on the chest before executing a brilliant volley to bring the tie level at 1-1.
However, Smith popped up in the final minute of stoppage-time to loop an effort over New Caledonia goalkeeper Rocky Nyikeine, to set up a tie with the fourth-ranked team from the North American, Central American and Caribbean confederation.
Despite an enthralling encounter, the game will be best remembered for the the atrocious high-boot tackle on New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz, which left the 31-year-old with a bloodied head.
The incident was completely missed by the referee and his officials, with a New Caledonia goal-kick awarded when a penalty and straight red card was the only punishment appropriate.
Watch a video of the Smeltz challenge above - with thanks to our friends at 101greatgoals.com for bringing it to our attention - and leave a comment at the bottom of the article with where you think it ranks among the worst football challenges to avoid punishment!
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