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OFC Nations Cup
Current season or competition:
2008 OFC Nations Cup
OFCcup.png
OFC Nations Cup
Sport Football
Founded 1996
No. of teams 11
Continent Oceania (OFC)
Most recent champion(s) New Zealand New Zealand (2008, 4th title)
Most championships Australia Australia
New Zealand New Zealand
(4 titles)

The OFC Nations Cup is a football competition held among the Oceania Football Confederation 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 acts as a qualification tournament for the Confederations Cup and for a play-off for the 2010 World Cup, the New Zealand side emerged as winners.

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 eight editions the trophy has been won only by two teams: Australia and New Zealand.

Australia ceased to be a member of the OFC on January 1, 2006, having elected to join the Asian Football Confederation, and hence will no longer be involved in this competition.

Contents

History

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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.
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 after 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.

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, finishind second losing the final match against Brazil.
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-Today)

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

Format

The first two editions was played without any qualifying round. 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, in a six-way round-robin tournament.

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 1996-2000 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

Year Host Final Third Place Match
Winner Score Runner-up 3rd Place Score 4th Place
1973
Details
 New Zealand
New Zealand
2–0
Tahiti

New Caledonia
2–1
New Hebrides
1980
Details
 New Caledonia
Australia
4–2
Tahiti

New Caledonia
2–1
Fiji
1996
Details
No Fixed Venue
Australia
6–0
5–0

Tahiti

New Zealand
Shared
Solomon Islands
1998
Details
 Australia
New Zealand
1–0
Australia

Fiji
4–2
Tahiti
2000
Details
 Tahiti
Australia
2–0
New Zealand

Solomon Islands
2–1
Vanuatu
2002
Details
 New Zealand
New Zealand
1–0
Australia

Tahiti
1–0
Vanuatu
2004
Details
 Australia
Australia
5–1
6–0

Solomon Islands

New Zealand
BY TABLE
Fiji
2008
Details
No Fixed Venue
New Zealand
BY TABLE
New Caledonia

Fiji
BY TABLE
Vanuatu

Successful national teams

Team Champions Runners-up Third-place Fourth-place
 Australia 4 (1980, 1996, 2000, 2004) 2 (1998, 2002) - -
 New Zealand 4 (1973, 1998, 2002, 2008) 1 (2000) 2 (1996, 2004) -
 Tahiti - 3 (1973, 1980, 1996) 1 (2002) 1 (1998)
 New Caledonia - 1 (2008) 2 (1973, 1980) -
 Solomon Islands - 1 (2004) 2 (1996, 2000)
 Fiji - - 2 (1998, 2008) 2 (1980, 2004)
 Vanuatu - - - 4 (1973^, 2000, 2002, 2008)

^ This 1973 fourth place was achieved by Vanuatu under its former name New Hebrides.

Total hosts

Time(s) Nation Year(s)
2  Australia 1998, 2004
2  New Zealand 1973, 2002
1  Tahiti 2000
1  New Caledonia 1980
2 No Host 1996, 2008

Performances by host nations

Year Host nation Finish
1973  New Zealand Champions
1980  New Caledonia Third Place
1996 No Host
1998  Australia Second Place
2000  Tahiti Group Stage
2002  New Zealand Champions
2004  Australia Champions
2008 No Host

OFC Nations Cup winning managers

Year Head coach Champions
1973 New Zealand Barrie Truman  New Zealand
1980 West Germany Rudi Gutendorf  Australia
1996 United Kingdom Eddie Thomson  Australia
1998 New Zealand Ken Dugdale  New Zealand
2000 Australia Frank Farina  Australia
2002 United Kingdom Mick Waitt  New Zealand
2004 Australia Frank Farina  Australia
2008 New Zealand Ricki Herbert  New Zealand

Records and statistics

Participating nations

Participating nations by number of final tournament appearances:

N° of editions Team Years
8  New Zealand 1973, 1980, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008
7  Tahiti 1973, 1980, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004
 Vanuatu 1973, 1980, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008
6  Australia 1980, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004
 Fiji 1973, 1980, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008
5  Solomon Islands 1980, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004
4  New Caledonia 1973, 1980, 2002, 2008
2  Papua New Guinea 1998, 2002
 Cook Islands 1998, 2000

Overall top goalscorers

Goals Scorers
14 Australia Damian Mori
11 Australia Kris Trajanovski
10 New Zealand Vaughan Coveny
8 New Zealand Shane Smeltz
7 New Zealand Chris Killen, Solomon Islands Commins Menapi
6 Australia Tim Cahill, Australia Joel Porter, Australia Paul Trimboli
5 Australia Scott Chipperfield, Australia Bobby Despotovski, Australia Eddie Krncevic, Australia Ian Hunter, Australia Craig Foster, Australia Clayton Zane,
France Michel Hmaé, New Zealand Mark Burton, New Zealand Jeff Campbell, New Zealand Ryan Nelsen, French Polynesia Jean-Loup Rousseau

Top scorers

Year Player Goals
1973 New Caledonia Segin Wayewol
New Zealand Alan Marley
French Polynesia Erroll Bennett
3
1980 Australia Ian Hunter
Australia Eddie Krncevic
5
1996 Australia Kris Trajanovski 7
1998 Australia Damian Mori 10
2000 Australia Craig Foster
Australia Clayton Zane
5
2002 Australia Joel Porter 6
2004 Australia Tim Cahill
New Zealand Vaughan Coveny
6
2008 New Zealand Shane Smeltz 8

General Statistics

Team P W D L GF GA GDif
1  New Zealand 34 25 2 7 92 31 +61
2  Australia 28 24 2 2 142 13 +129
3  Tahiti 29 12 3 14 54 73 -19
4  New Caledonia 18 8 2 8 37 42 -5
5  Fiji 26 8 2 16 34 59 -25
6  Vanuatu 30 6 2 22 30 69 -39
7  Solomon Islands 19 5 2 12 24 60 -36
8  Papua New Guinea 6 1 1 4 8 34 -26
9  Cook Islands 4 0 0 4 1 41 -40

Teams Which Have Failed to Qualify

Year Teams Eliminated In The Qualifying Round Number Of Teams To The Final Round Total
1973 No Qualifying Round 5 5
1980 No Qualifying Round 8 8
1996  Fiji,  Papua New Guinea,  Vanuatu,  New Caledonia,  Tonga,  Samoa,  American Samoa 4 11
1998  Solomon Islands,  Papua New Guinea,  New Caledonia,  Tonga,  Samoa,  American Samoa 6 12
2000  Papua New Guinea,  New Caledonia,  Tonga,  Samoa,  American Samoa,  Fiji^ 6 12
2002  Tonga,  Samoa,  American Samoa 8 11
2004  Papua New Guinea,  New Caledonia,  Tonga,  Samoa,  American Samoa,  Cook Islands 6 12
2008  Tahiti,  Tonga,  Samoa,  American Samoa,  Cook Islands,  Solomon Islands,  Tuvalu^^ 4 11

^ Qualified but then withdrew.

^^ OFC Associate member.

Participation details


Team New Zealand
1973
New Caledonia
1980
1996 Australia
1998
French Polynesia
2000
New Zealand
2002
Australia
2004
2008 Total
 New Zealand 1st 1R SF 1st 2nd 1st 3rd 1st 8
 Tahiti 2nd 2nd 2nd 4th 1R 3rd 5th DNQ 7
 Vanuatu 1 4th 1R DNQ 1R 4th 4th 6th 4th 7
 Australia - 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st - 6
 Fiji 5th 4th DNQ 3rd QW 1R 4th 3rd 6
 Solomon Islands - 1R SF DNQ 3rd 1R 2nd DNQ 5
 New Caledonia 3rd 3rd DNQ DNQ DNQ 1R DNQ 2nd 4
 Papua New Guinea - 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ 1R DNQ DSQ 2
 Cook Islands - - - 1R 1R - DNQ DNQ 2
 Samoa 2 - - DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
 Tonga - - DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
 American Samoa - - DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
 Tuvalu 3 - - - - - - - DNQ 0
Legend
  • 1st – Champions
  • 2nd – Runners-up
  • 3rd – Third place
  • 4th – Fourth place
  • 5th – Fifth Place
  • 6th – Sixth Place
  • SF – Semifinals
  • 1R – First Round
  • Q – Qualified
  • DNQ – Did not qualify
  • DSQ - Disqualified
  • QW – Qualified but then withdrew
Notes
  • 1: Includes results as New Hebrides.
  • 2: Includes results as Western Samoa.
  • 3: Associate member of OFC.

Notes

External links


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