The team shocked the (Oceanian) football world in the 2004 Oceania Nations Cup (which doubles as World Cup Qualifying), tying Australia 2–2 to nip heavily favored New Zealand for second place and a spot in a championship playoff against Australia. Although they lost to the Socceroos 5–1 and 6–0, finishing second in the confederation is a remarkable achievement for the island nation.
The Solomons would get a second chance against the Socceroos in a two-legged series in September 2005, this time with the winner advancing to a two-legged series against CONMEBOL's fifth-place finisher for a berth in the 2006 World Cup, and lost 7–0 on the first leg and 2–1 in the 2nd played at home.
The Solomons were knocked out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup particularly as they were seen[by whom?] as the favourites to challenge New Zealand for the Oceanian qualifying slot. They got off to a good start winning every game in their qualifying group and comfortably progressing to the knockout rounds, but defeats to New Caledonia and then to Vanuatu saw them knocked out of the competition.