OFC Nations Cup

Last updated
OFC Nations Cup
OFCcup.png
Founded1973;46 years ago (1973)
RegionOceania (OFC)
Number of teams8
Related competitions FIFA Confederations Cup
Current champions Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
(5th title)
Most successful team(s) Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
(5 titles)
Website www.oceaniafootball.com
Soccerball current event.svg 2020 OFC Nations Cup

The OFC Nations Cup is an international association football tournament held among the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) member nations. It was held every two years from 1996 to 2004; before 1996 there were two other tournaments held at irregular intervals, under the name Oceania Nations Cup. No competition was held in 2006, but in the 2008 edition, which also acted as a qualification tournament for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and for a play-off for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the New Zealand national football team emerged as winners.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Oceania Football Confederation body for association football in Oceania

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, and other Pacific Island countries. It promotes the game in Oceania and allows the member nations to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup 8th FIFA Confederations Cup, held in South Africa

The 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup was the eighth Confederations Cup, and was held in South Africa from 14 June to 28 June 2009, as a prelude to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The draw was held on 22 November 2008 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The opening match was played at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. The tournament was won by Brazil, who retained the trophy they won in 2005 by defeating the United States 3–2 in the final.

Contents

Historically, a very large gulf separated Australia and New Zealand from the smaller island competitors, and little attention was paid to the tournament by the rest of the football world. In fact, after the first eight editions the trophy had been won only by two teams: Australia and New Zealand. In the 2012 OFC Nations Cup, Tahiti became the first team other than Australia and New Zealand to be crowned Oceania champions.

New Zealand national football team mens national association football team representing New Zealand

The New Zealand national football team represents New Zealand in international association football. The team is controlled by the governing body for football in New Zealand New Zealand Football (NZF), which is currently a member of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). The team's official nickname is the All Whites. New Zealand is a five-time OFC champion. The team represented New Zealand at the FIFA World Cup tournaments in 1982 and 2010, and the FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments in 1999, 2003, 2009 and 2017. Because most New Zealand football clubs are semi-professional rather than fully professional, most professional New Zealand footballers play for clubs in English-speaking countries such as England, the United States and Australia.

The 2012 OFC Nations Cup was the ninth edition of the OFC Nations Cup organised by the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).

Tahiti national football team national association football team

The Tahiti national football team is the national team of French Polynesia and is controlled by the Fédération Tahitienne de Football. The team consists of a selection of players from French Polynesia, not just Tahiti, and has competed in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) since 1990.

Australia ceased to be a member of the OFC on 1 January 2006, having elected to join the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and hence no longer participate in the tournament.

Asian Football Confederation governing body of association football in Asia

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia and Australia. It has 47 member countries, mostly located on the Asian and Australian continent, but excludes the transcontinental countries with territory in both Europe and Asia – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey – which are instead members of UEFA. Three other states located geographically along the western fringe of Asia – Cyprus, Armenia and Israel – are also UEFA members. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006, and the Oceanian island of Guam, a territory of the United States, is also a member of AFC, in addition to Northern Mariana Islands, one of the Two Commonwealths of the United States. Hong Kong and Macau, although not independent countries, are also members of the AFC.

History

Early Times (1973–1980)

This tournament began in 1973 as the "Oceania Cup". This first edition, played in New Zealand, without qualifying round, was won by the host in the final match played in Auckland against Tahiti, with the result of 2–0, and was characterized by the absence of the Australian team and the presence of some teams not members of FIFA, such as New Hebrides, which became Vanuatu after gaining independence in 1980.

Auckland Metropolitan area in North Island, New Zealand

Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.

New Hebrides former colony, now Vanuatu

New Hebrides, officially the New Hebrides Condominium and named for the Hebrides Scottish archipelago, was the colonial name for the island group in the South Pacific Ocean that is now Vanuatu. Native people had inhabited the islands for three thousand years before the first Europeans arrived in 1606 from a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós. The islands were colonised by both the British and French in the 18th century, shortly after Captain James Cook visited.

Vanuatu Country in Oceania

Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

A second edition of the Oceania Cup took place in 1980 in New Caledonia, at that time not a FIFA member, and was won by Australia in the final match played in Nouméa against Tahiti, with the result of 4–2, and was characterized by a poor result for New Zealand: out in the Group Stage losing against Tahiti (3–1) and Fiji (4–0), however two years later they qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. These two editions were the only without qualifying rounds. After this edition the tournament was discontinued. So Australia maintained the Oceania Champion title for 16 years without play any tournament. Between the years of absence (1981–1995) the most important Oceanian tournament was the Trans-Tasman Cup played only between Australia and New Zealand.

Nouméa Commune in New Caledonia, France

Nouméa is the capital and largest city of the French special collectivity of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia's main island, Grande Terre, and is home to the majority of the island's European, Polynesian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese populations, as well as many Melanesians, Ni-Vanuatu and Kanaks who work in one of the South Pacific's most industrialised cities. The city lies on a protected deepwater harbour that serves as the chief port for New Caledonia.

1982 FIFA World Cup 1982 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1982 FIFA World Cup was the 12th FIFA World Cup, played in Spain between 13 June and 11 July 1982. The tournament was won by Italy, who defeated West Germany 3–1 in the final match, held in the Spanish capital of Madrid. It was Italy's third World Cup win, but their first since 1938. The defending champions, Argentina, were eliminated in the second group round. Algeria, Cameroon, Honduras, Kuwait and New Zealand made their first appearances in the finals.

The Trans-Tasman Cup was an association football competition played between Australia and New Zealand. Six editions were played between 1983 and 1995 after the OFC Nations Cup was discontinued. It was considered the most important Oceanian tournament during the absence of the OFC Nations Cup. The tournament was won four times by Australia and twice by New Zealand. The 1995 edition doubled as a semifinal for the 1996 OFC Nations Cup.

Return Every Two Years (1996–2004)

In 1996, when OFC reached the official status of Confederation for FIFA, the tournament reappeared as the "Oceania Nations Cup" and served as a qualifier for the Confederations Cup. The 1996 edition, without an host nation but for the first time with a qualifying round, was contested with only four teams playing semifinals and final match on two legs both: Australia and New Zealand, who played the semifinal also for the Trans-Tasman Cup, and the second semifinal match between Tahiti as Polynesia Cup holders and Solomon Islands as Melanesia Cup holders. The Cup was won for the second time by the Australian side winning easily in the final match, on two legs, against Tahiti (6–0 and 5–0). The topscorer of this tournament, Kris Trajanovski, scored all his seven goals in the final match: four on the first leg in Papeete (Tahiti) and three on the second leg in Canberra (Australia). Thanks to this result, this Australian team, managed by the English Terry Venables and not by the Scottish Oceania Champion Eddie Thomson, took part to the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia.

The Polynesia Cup was a football tournament for Polynesian nations within the Oceania Football Confederation. It acted along with the Melanesia Cup as a qualifying tournament for the Oceania Nations Cup. The last tournament was played in 2000.

The Melanesia Cup was an association football championship played between the Melanesian countries, it was used for qualification to the Oceania Nations Cup. The last edition of the cup was in 2000. The tournament used a round-robin format involving every team playing each other once at the tournaments location.

Kris Trajanovski is an Australian association football player and coach.

In the 1998 edition, played in Australia, six teams took part, dominated by giants Australia and New Zealand: in the final match, played in Brisbane, New Zealand beat the host Australia 1–0 with a goal by Mark Burton. In this edition the Australian player Damian Mori scored 10 goals, a record still alive today. He is also the overall Oceania Nations Cup top scorer with 14 goals, scored in three editions: one in 1996, ten in 1998 and three in 2002.

The fifth edition, played in Tahiti in 2000, the tournament structure was confirmed and yet again the tournament was dominated by Australia and New Zealand who reached the final match in Papeete. Australia won their third title by a score of 2–0, qualifying for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Fiji, who qualified for this edition, was forced to withdraw due to civil war and was replaced by Vanuatu, who impressed in the semifinal against Australia: the Socceroos, managed by Frank Farina, won 1–0 thanks only to a penalty kick by Kevin Muscat. Two years later the Australian team finished third in the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Korea and Japan.

For the 2002 edition, played for the second time in New Zealand, eight teams participated, divided into two groups easily won by Australia and New Zealand. This set up their third consecutive final match. The Australian side won the semifinal against a brave Tahiti only after extra time. Soccer Australia was involved in financial problems: the non-existent financial contribution meant that the Australian players had to pay their own way to get to New Zealand, so Scott Chipperfield became the only one of Australia's large European contingent to answer the call and perform for his country in their time of need, resulting in a weak team for the tournament. So the final was won for the third time by the All Whites beating their historical rivals 1–0 in Auckland with a late Ryan Nelsen goal.

In the 2004 edition, which served also as the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification and was played in Australia, six nations took part playing each other in a unique group, with the first two playing a final match in two legs. During the group stage Vanuatu surprisingly beat New Zealand 4–2, but lost all their remaining matches. This and a draw with Australia (2–2) allowed Solomon Islands to claim second place and a berth in the final match against Australia. In the final, the Solomon Islands were beaten 5–1 on their home ground Honiara and 6–0 in Sydney. Moreover, this was the first, and until today the only time that a coach, Frank Farina, has won the Oceania Nations Cup trophy twice. Two years later, managed by Dutchman Guus Hiddink and composed of many 2004 Oceania Nations Cup scorers such as Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton, John Aloisi, Australia reached the Second Round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. However, this was the fourth and last OFC title for Australia: in 2006 they decided to join AFC, changing considerably the Oceania football scene.

A New Era (2006–present)

Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation on 1 January 2006, ceasing to be a member of OFC, leaving New Zealand as the only major power in the OFC. The 2007 South Pacific Games, won by New Caledonia, served as a qualifying round for the three lowest ranked teams in the OFC, with the winners qualifying for the 2008 OFC Nations Cup. The 2008 OFC Nations Cup was played without a fixed venue and with four teams playing each other at home and away in one group. The tournament also served as part of the OFC's qualifying competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. New Zealand emerged easily as winners for the fourth time ahead of New Caledonia, winning five matches of six. Surprisingly, Fiji won the last match against New Zealand in Lautoka (Fiji) for 2–0 with two goals of Roy Krishna. The top-scorer Shane Smeltz (New Zealand) scored eight goals: four against the runners up New Caledonia beaten 3–1 away and 3–0 at home.

The 2012 edition of the tournament was originally meant to be played in Fiji, [1] but they were stripped from hosting due to the ongoing legal dispute involving OFC general secretary Tai Nicholas and Fijian authorities. Hosting rights was moved to the Solomon Islands as they were joined by New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tahiti, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa (winner of the qualifying tournament). The draw which was similar to the 2012 edition with them competing in two groups of four teams, with the top two in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. After 9 days, Tahiti and New Caledonia reached the final in Lawson Tama Stadium with Tahiti winning 1–0 with a goal from Steevy Chong Hue. With this, Tahiti became the first team other than Australia (no longer part of OFC) and New Zealand to be crowned Oceania champions. [2] The tournament also served as part of the OFC's qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Format

The first two editions were played without any qualifying rounds. For the successive three tournaments, Australia and New Zealand were seeded into the tournament automatically, while the remaining ten nations played to qualify. The Polynesian and Melanesian Cups, each played between five nations grouped on a geographical basis, served as qualifications via a round-robin tournament, with the highest ranked two teams in each competition qualifying for the actual OFC Nations Cup.

With the postponement and then cancellation of the Melanesian Cup, and a similar fate befalling its Polynesian equivalent, the format of the tournament changed in 2002. FIFA rankings determined the seedings of all twelve teams, and the lower six teams played a group stage for two qualifier positions into the main tournament. The 2002 Cup tournament proper was played with two groups of four teams (again in round-robin style), which led into a 4-way knockout stage, playing for the top four positions.

In 2004, the format changed once again, returning to a format similar to that of the 19962000 tournaments, with five teams each playing in two qualifying groups and Australia and New Zealand seeded to the actual tournament, played as a group stage of six, with a home and away Final played between the two highest-placed teams. This tournament doubled also as qualifying round for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

For the 2008 tournament, the format altered again. The 2007 South Pacific Games football tournament served as a qualification tournament, with the gold, silver and bronze winning nations progressing to the main, round-robin format, tournament, for which New Zealand qualified automatically. New Zealand emerged as winners of the 2008 OFC Nations Cup, ahead of New Caledonia, and thus qualified for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and a playoff with the fifth placed team from the AFC for a place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Results

Summaries

EditionYearHostFinalThird Place Match
WinnerScoreRunner-up3rd PlaceScore4th Place
1 1973 Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
2–0Flag of France.svg
Tahiti
Flag of France.svg
New Caledonia
2–1Flag of the British New Hebrides (1952-1980).svg
New Hebrides
2 1980 Flag of France.svg  New Caledonia Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
4–2Flag of France.svg
Tahiti
Flag of France.svg
New Caledonia
2–1Flag of Fiji.svg
Fiji
3 1996 No hostFlag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
6–0
5–0
Flag of French Polynesia.svg
Tahiti
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand and Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands
4 1998 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
1–0Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
Flag of Fiji.svg
Fiji
4–2Flag of French Polynesia.svg
Tahiti
5 2000 Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
2–0Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg
Solomon Islands
2–1Flag of Vanuatu.svg
Vanuatu
6 2002 Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
1–0Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
Flag of French Polynesia.svg
Tahiti
1–0Flag of Vanuatu.svg
Vanuatu
7 2004 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Australia
5–1
6–0
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg
Solomon Islands
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
Round robin Flag of Fiji.svg
Fiji
8 2008 No hostFlag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
Round robin Flag of France.svg
New Caledonia
Flag of Fiji.svg
Fiji
Round robin Flag of Vanuatu.svg
Vanuatu
9 2012 Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands Flag of French Polynesia.svg
Tahiti
1–0New Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg
New Caledonia
Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
4–3Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg
Solomon Islands
10 2016 Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea Flag of New Zealand.svg
New Zealand
0–0
4–2 ( p )
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg
Papua New Guinea
New Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg  New Caledonia and Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands

Teams reaching the top four

TeamChampionsRunners-upThird-placeFourth-place
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 5 (1973, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2016)1 (2000)3 (1996, 2004, 2012)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 14 (1980, 1996, 2000, 2004)2 (1998, 2002)
Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti 1 (2012)3 (1973, 1980, 1996)1 (2002)1 (1998)
New Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg  New Caledonia 2 (2008, 2012)3 (1973, 1980, 2016)
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands 1 (2004)3 (1996, 2000, 2016)1 (2012)
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea 1 (2016)
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 2 (1998, 2008)2 (1980, 2004)
Flag of Vanuatu.svg  Vanuatu 4 (1973^, 2000, 2002, 2008)

^ This 1973 fourth place was achieved by Vanuatu under its former name New Hebrides.
1Australia left the OFC in 2006 and became a full member of the Asian Football Confederation.

Records and statistics

Up to and including 2016 OFC Nations Cup.

RankTeamPartPWDLGFGAGDPoints
1Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 1044324811039+71100
2Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 628242214213+12974
3Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti 937185148081−159
4New Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg  New Caledonia 627124116552+1340
5Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 83294193967−2831
6Flag of Vanuatu.svg  Vanuatu 93682264185−4426
7Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands 72874173170−3925
8Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea 4143562342−1914
9Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands 24004141−400
10Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 26006143−420

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References

  1. "Pacific Games no longer part of qualification". oceaniafootball.com. 29 July 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  2. "Glorious Tahiti claim maiden Oceania crown". FIFA.com. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.