Cook Islands players before their friendly match with Fiji in Suva earlier this week. The national side lost 1-4. CIFA/22071202
The OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2022 kicked off last night in Fiji with Samoa taking on Tonga in the opening match at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.
Due to the nature of the competition, where eight of the nine teams involved will advance from the Group Stage, all nations taking part will harbour ambitions of being crowned champions of Oceania.
winners will also have the chance to advance to the FIFA Women’s World Cup
Australia and New Zealand 2023™ by entering the Play-Off Tournament hosted in
Auckland and Hamilton, New Zealand, from February 17-23 next year.
what can we expect from the teams at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup?
Polynesian nations will ignite a friendly rivalry in Group A.
are led by former Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill who will no doubt look to
use his own experience of playing in an international continental tournament
with Barbados to his team’s advantage.
start their campaign against Tonga, who finished third in 2007. Team Mataliki’s
preparation for the tournament involved a trip to Australia where they
challenged themselves against top local opposition and World Cup 2023
participants the Philippines.
Cook Islands round out the group and will take heart from the knowledge they
defeated Tonga in the Group Stages four years ago and have a blend of domestic
and New Zealand-based talent.
Islands will play Tonga in its opening match on Friday (Cook Islands time)
before taking on Samoa on Monday. Both matches will kick off at 9pm.
New Guinea arrive as the favourites to claim overall glory. The highest-ranked
nation picked up impressive international friendly wins over the Seychelles,
Singapore and the Solomon Islands in preparation for the tournament. After previously
finishing as runners-up on three occasions, this might finally be the year PNG
claim the title.
only their third appearance at the competition Tahiti have high hopes for their
exciting squad assembled by head coach Stéphanie Spielmann. A tour of France in
February helped to shape the current unit made up of domestic players and those
plying their trade in France and the United States.
Vanuatu this will be their first OFC Women’s Nations Cup since 2010 and their
squad is a mixture of experience and youth as they look to build toward a
bright future in the women’s game.
nation Fiji will undoubtedly be aiming to go one better than the 2018 edition
of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup – where they lost to New Zealand in the final.
will be hoping home soil advantage and the guidance of experienced American
head coach Lisa Cole can give them the edge. Their pre-tournament preparations
would suggest they are a team to be reckoned with – after convincing friendly
wins over Tonga and the Cook Islands.
Caledonia impressed as hosts four years ago, reaching the semi-finals for the
first time after beating Samoa and Tahiti in the Group Stage.
the Solomon Islands, led by men’s team legend Batram Suri, have set their
sights on at least a run to the semi-finals.