NEW ZEALAND TO FACE PNG IN OFC QUALIFIERS
Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has released the draw for the OFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament 2008 and it pits Oceania heavyweights New Zealand against Papua New Guinea side in a two legged, home and away qualifier.
The tournament will run over two match days with New Zealand travelling to Port Moresby on March 8, and then hosting Papua New Guinea in the return leg on March 12 in Auckland.
The format for selecting Oceania's women's representative at the Olympic Games Women's Football Tournament, has changed each year since Oceania first gained entry in 2000.
In 2000, Australia, as host nation of the 2000 Olympic Games, qualified. In 2004, a tournament was held in Fiji, featuring the host nation, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
2008 marks the first Olympic Qualifiers since Australia switched confederations from OFC to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on January 1, 2006. The winner of the tournament will be awarded direct entry to Beijing 2008.
New Zealand will head into the fixtures as hot favorites but will face a Papua New Guinea team who achieved its highest ever placing at an OFC/FIFA World Cup Qualifying event last year when it finished runners-up to New Zealand.
Papua New Guinea qualified for an Olympic Games showdown with the Football Ferns after winning the gold medal at the XIII South Pacific Games Women's Football Tournament in Samoa last year.
Papua New Guinea defeated Tonga 3-1 after extra-time to secure the South Pacific Games gold medal and clinch the Olympic Games qualifying berth against New Zealand.
New Zealand were seeded to the playoff stage and did not compete at the XIII South Pacific Games - Samoa 2007.
OFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Draw
1st Leg - Papua New Guinea vs. New Zealand*
Date 8 March 2008
Venue Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
2nd Leg - New Zealand vs. Papua New Guinea*
Date 12 March 2008
Venue Auckland, New Zealand
*Kick-off times and stadiums to be confirmed
Papua New Guinea recent international results:
OFC/FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifiers - Papua New Guinea 2007
Vs. Solomon Islands (H) won 6-1
Vs. Tonga (H) won 1-0
Vs. New Zealand (H) lost 0-7
XIII South Pacific Games - Samoa 2007
Vs. American Samoa (N) won 6-0
Vs. Solomon Islands (N) won 4-0
Vs. Fiji (N) lost 0-1
Vs. Cook Islands (N) won 4-1
Vs. Tahiti (N) won 5-0
Vs. Tonga (N) won 3-1*
* Papua New Guinea won after extra-time score 1-1 after 90 minutes
Results from OFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament - Fiji 2004
Vs Papua New Guinea won 10-0
Vs Fiji won 7-0
Papua New Guinea (2nd)
Vs Australia lost 0-10
Vs Fiji won 2-0
Vs Australia lost 0-7
Vs Papua New Guinea lost 0-2