New Zealand have qualified for the Beijing Olympics 2008 in both the Men’s and Women’s Football Tournaments after winning their respective OFC qualifiers. The OFC Men’s Football Tournament in Fiji was contested in a round-robin format by the Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea and the New Zealand side went undefeated to claim their first ever Olympic berth. Papua New Guinea hosted New Zealand in a one-off fixture for the OFC Women’s Olympic qualifier in Port Moresby and the Kiwis triumphed 2-0 to book their place at the games in front of a live television audience – the first ever for a women’s match in Papua New Guinea.
Preparations are well underway in New Caledonia for the visit of France’s 1998 World Cup-winning winning side in May. The side will play in a jubilee match in Noumea in honour of FIFA/OFC ambas¬sador Christian Karembeu. The match is being held in conjunction with the OFC congress, which will be attended by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
Auckland City beat Tahitian champions AS Manu Ura 1 -0 in Papeete to set up an exciting final-round match with Waitakere United in Group A of the OFC O-League. The winner of Group A will progress to meet the Solomon Islands champions Kossa FC in the OFC O-League final. AS Manu Ura top Tahiti’s Division Federale following a spell of good form in the OFC O-League. Kossa FC defeated Fijian champions Ba 2-0 in Group B of the OFC O-League in front of 13,000 fans at the Lawson Tama stadium thanks to goals from James Naka and an own goal by the usually reliable Malakai Kainihewe. AS Mont Dore sit atop New Caledonia’s Super Ligue play-offs after two matches while JS Baco are bottom of the four team group. Minor premiership winners AS Magenta struggled to a 2-2 draw with Kirikitr – the outer islands champions – in what was considered a big upset. Jose Hmae, Michel Hmae and Pierre Wajoka continue to show good form for Magenta but the Super Ligue title is wide open with four rounds remaining. Waitakere United have one hand on the NZFC minor premiership after an impressive run of form. Waitakere only need one point from their final-round match with Otago to be guaranteed the title and a home fixture for the NZFC Grand Final.