Your guide to the All Whites’ group games at the Oceania World Cup qualifiers

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Here’s your guide to New Zealand’s group games at the Oceania FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament in Qatar.

The eight-nation tournament runs from March 18-31 and the winners play the fourth-placed CONCACAF team in a one-game play-off in mid-June.

New Zealand will meet Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Caledonia in their group games at the Qatar SC Stadium.

The top two teams in Group B will progress to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Group A consists of Vanuatu, Tahiti, Cook Islands and Solomon Islands.

Main photo: The Qatar SC Stadium.

Oceania qualifiers

Fixtures for Group B are:

(Dates/times are NZT)

Countdown to New Zealand’s opening game:

Saturday March 19 (3am): Papua New Guinea v New Zealand (Qatar SC Stadium, Doha)

Saturday March 19 (6am): New Caledonia v Fiji

Tuesday March 22 (3am): Papua New Guinea v New Caledonia

Tuesday March 22 (6am): New Zealand v Fiji (Qatar SC Stadium, Doha)

Friday March 25 (6am): New Zealand v New Caledonia (Qatar SC Stadium, Doha)

Friday March 25 (6am): Fiji v Papua New Guinea

Download our one-page guide

Friends of Football have produced a print-friendly one-page guide to the qualifiers.

It covers the Oceania and CONCACAF qualifiers that by March 31 will determine which two nations will play-off in June for the 32nd and final place at the FIFA World Cup finals.

Click here to download our World Cup guide >>>>

Where the games will take place … Qatar SC Stadium, Doha.

How the qualifiers work

New Zealand

Goalkeepers

Stefan MARINOVICH (27 caps) Hapoel Nof HaGalil, Israel*, Matthew GOULD (0 caps) Altrincham FC, England, Oli SAIL (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand+, Jamie SEARLE (0 caps) Swansea City, Wales*.

Defenders

Tommy SMITH (42 caps) Colchester United, England, Winston REID (27 caps) Unattached, Tim PAYNE (21 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand*, Liberato CACACE (6 caps) FC Empoli, Italy (LOAN)*, Nando PIJNAKER (4 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland (LOAN)*, Nikko BOXALL (3 caps) San Diego Loyal, USA, Niko KIRWAN (3 caps) Calcio Padova, Italy, Francis DE VRIES (2 caps) IFK Värnamo, Sweden.

Midfielders

Clayton LEWIS (16 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand+, Cam HOWIESON (13 caps) Auckland City FC, New Zealand, Dane INGHAM (8 caps) Newcastle Jets, Australia+, Andre DE JONG (6 caps) AmaZulu FC, South Africa, Elijah JUST (6 caps) FC Helsingør, Denmark*, Joe BELL (5 caps) Bröndby IF, Denmark*, Marko STAMENIC (4 caps) HB Køge, Denmark (LOAN)*, Dalton WILKINS (1 cap) Kolding IF, Denmark+, Ben OLD (0 caps, debut senior call-up) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand+, Bill TUILOMA (28 caps) Portland Timbers, USA*.

Forwards

Chris WOOD (61 caps) Newcastle United, England*, Kosta BARBAROUSES (47 caps) Sydney FC, Australia+, Callum McCOWATT (5 caps) FC Helsingør, Denmark*, Logan ROGERSON (4 caps) FC Haka, Finland, Joe CHAMPNESS (3 caps) Giresunspor, Turkey, Matthew GARBETT (3 caps) Torino, Italy, Alex GREIVE (1 cap) St Mirren, Scotland*, Ben WAINE (0 caps, debut senior call-up) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand+.

Head coach: Danny Hay

* Joining from 19 March onwards
+ Leaving from 22 March onwards

Fiji

Much will depend on the form and availability of captain Roy Krishna whose ATK Mohun Bagan club wanted him to miss the tournament opener to help them in their Indian Super League semi-final. Krishna’s season has been dogged by injury. Click before more >>>>

Goalkeepers

Beniamino MATEINAQARA (Lautoka FC), Akuila MATEISUVA (Suva FC), Mohammed ALZAAR ALAM (Rewa FC), Isikeli SEVANAIA (Nadroga FC).

Defenders

Afraz ALI (Lautoka FC), Kishan SAMI (Rewa FC), Inoke TURAGALAILAI (Suva FC), Remueru TEKIATE (Suva FC), Sitiveni CAVUILAGI (Lautoka FC), Antonio TUIVUNA (Lautoka FC), Lekima GONERAU (Labasa FC), Edward AARON (Lautoka FC).

Midfielders

Ashnil RAJU (Labasa FC), Anish KHEM (Suva FC), Tevita WARANAIVALU (Rewa FC), Patrick JOSEPH (Rewa FC), Rahul NARESH (Ba FC), Nabil BEGG (Ba FC), Setareki HUGHES (Rewa FC), Muni SHIVAM NAIDU (Lautoka FC).

Forwards: Roy KRISHNA (ATK Mohun Bagan), Sairusi NALAUBU (Lautoka FC), Dave RADRIGAI (Suva FC), final spot TBC.

Head coach: Flemming SERRITSLEV.

Papua New Guinea

Tommy Semmy shows his acceleration for Hamilton Wanderers. Image courtesy of Phototek.

 

Striker Tommy Semmy — well-known to New Zealand national league followers as an effective goalscorer for Hamilton Wanderers in recent seasons — has been named in the PNG squad for the March qualifiers.

Semmy and Gimala Essacu (Western Illinois University) are the two overseas-based players in the squad.

Hekari United midfielder David Muta is captain.

Goalkeepers

Ronald WARISAN (Lae City FC), Russel CHRIS (Hekari United FC), Ilai ILAROVA (Port Moresby Strikers FC).

Defenders – Alwin KOMOLONG (Lae City FC), Felix KOMOLONG (Lae City FC), Philip STEVEN (Lae City FC), Joshua TALAU (Lae City FC), Daniel JOE (Hekari United FC), Koriak UPAIGA (Hekari United FC), Emmanuel AIREM (Lae City FC), Gimala ESSACU (Western Illinois University, USA).

Midfielders

David MUTA (Hekari United FC), Emmanuel SIMON (Lae City FC), Jacob SABUA (Lae City FC), Yagi YASASA (Hekari United FC), Michael FOSTER (Hekari United FC), Pala PAUL (Gulf Komara FC).

Forwards

Stahl GUBAG (Lae City FC), Ati KEPO (Hekari United FC), Obert BIKA (Lae City FC), Raymond GUNEMBA (Lae City Dwellers FC), Mathew DAVID (Port Moresby Strikers FC), Patrick AISA (Port Moresby Strikers FC), Tommy SEMMY (Newcastle Jets FC).

Head coach: Marcos Gusmao.

New Caledonia

The New Caledonia squad is a mix of local players and those who play professionally overseas, including midfield pair Cesar Zeoula and Joris Kenon who play for UA Cognac FC in the French fifth division and goalkeeper Jean-Gilles Hnamuko who plays for Luxembourg’s FC Alisontia Steinsel.

Goalkeepers

Rocky NYIKEINE (Hienghene Sport), Mickael ULILE (AS Magenta), Jean-Gilles HNAMUKO. (FC Alisontia Steinsel).

Defenders

William ROKUAD (AS Lossi), Joel WAKANUMUNE (Tiga Sport), Joseph ATHALE (Hienghene Sport), Jean-Brice WADRIAKO (Tiga Sport), Wesley LAUTOA (N/A), Vincent VAKIE (AS Kunie), Emile BEARUNE (N/A), Jean-Luc DECOIRE (Hienghene Sport), Pierre KAUMA (Trio Kedeigne), Louis PIAA (AS Wetr).

Midfielders

Cesar ZEOULA (UA Cognac FC), Pierre BAKO (Tiga Sport), Richard SELE (Tiga Sport), Credric SANSOT (Hienghene Sport), Cedric DECOIRE (CA Saint-Louis), Joris KENON (UA Cognac FC), Roberto NEOERE (AS Kunie), Christopher WACALIE (N/A).

Forwards

Lues WAYA (Tiga Sport), Georges GOPE-FENEPEJ (US Concarneau), Jean-Philippe SAIKO (AS Lossi), Jordan WETRIA (SC Ne Drehu), Titouan RICHARD (Tiga Sport), Germain HAEWEGENE (AS Wetr), Bertrand KAI (Hienghene Sport), Morgan MATELON (Tiga Sport), Rodrigue WALONE (N/A).

Head coach: Dominique Wacalie.

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