A win and a withdrawal gave New Zealand the title at the 2016 OFC Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament. The two team event was scheduled to be a two legged match where the team with the better aggregate score advanced to the Olympics. The OFC Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament was held in Lae, Papua New Guinea and Auckland, New Zealand on January 23rd 2016 and January 26th 2016 respectively.
New Zealand automatically advanced to this stage while Papua New Guinea qualified to this match by winning gold in the women’s tournament held at the 2015 Pacific Games. The team went undefeated in the seven team tournament and only conceded one goal in the group stage. This was their fourth title in the four times the tournament was held at the Pacific Games.
The first match showed the gulf between New Zealand and the rest of the continent. While Papua New Guinea kept the game scoreless for a while New Zealand’s Amber Hearn scored the first goal at the 20th minute. From there New Zealand would go on to score a total of seven times. Papua New Guinea got a consolation goal at the 79th minute from Meagen Gunemba, but the match ended as a 7-1 blowout.
The second match to be held in New Zealand was cancelled due to visa problems among the Papua New Guinea players. FIFA later confirmed that the match will not be rescheduled thus giving New Zealand the quota to the Olympics. Further discipline by FIFA in the future may be given due to this withdrawal.
This will be New Zealand’s third Olympics in a row for this event. They will be looking to repeat their 2012 performance where they qualified to the quarterfinals.
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- OFC. New Zealand through to Rio 2016. Access on January 25 2016.