Updated: Papua New Guinea to face New Zealand in quarter-finals — without playing a game

posted in: News

New Zealand’s next opponents at the OFC U-19 Championship will be Papua New Guinea who have yet to play a game at the tournament.

PNG defaulted their first two games at the tournament in Tahiti but ‘won’ their third game because Tonga did not turn up, and the match has been deemed ‘abandoned’.

Awarded a 3-0 default win, PNG became the best-performing third-placed team in Groups B and C, and secured them a quarter-final against New Zealand on Monday (2.30pm NZT).

OFC announced the game between PNG and Tonga would not proceed with the following statement on their website:

“The Oceania Football Confederation can confirm that the Group B fixture between Papua New Guinea and Tonga did not take place.

“Papua New Guinea was scheduled to play Tonga on September 15 at 3:00pm local time.

“However, the match was unable to be played because Tonga was not at the Stadium at the scheduled kick-off time.

“The matter is now being referred to the appropriate bodies.”

Second statement: Game declared to have been abandoned

A few hours later, OFC followed up with a second statement:

“Following the confirmation that the Group B fixture between Papua New Guinea and Tonga did not go ahead, the Oceania Football Confederation declares the match abandoned.

“The match was scheduled to be played on 15 September at 3.00 pm local time; however, Tonga was not at the stadium at the scheduled kick-off time.

“In accordance with Article 7 of the OFC U-19 Championship 2022 Regulations, the match is declared abandoned and Papua New Guinea will be awarded a 3-0 victory and the resultant three points from their abandoned Group B fixture with Tonga.

“The matter will now be referred to the OFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee.”

PNG and Vanuatu defaulted their opening two games at the tournament, blaming visa issues. If OFC follow a similar line of punishment, PNG will finish third in group B and then face New Zealand.

READ MORE: More games defaulted at tournament >>>>

More quarter-final confusion

Causing further confusion is the expected opponent for Tahiti in the quarter-finals.

The original draw said the winners of Group B (Tahiti) would play the best-performing third team in either Group A or Group C.

If that was the case, it would appear Cook Islands had finished third in Group A with three points, earned from their win against American Samoa.

However, the OFC website lists Tahiti’s quarter-final opponents as Vanuatu (who have not played a game).

It appears Vanuatu’s record is better because the performance record is taken against the top two teams in the group, whereas Cook Islands’ points in Group A were gain from their win against fourth-placed American Samoa.

Why this tournament is so important

The finalists at the tournament automatically qualify for next year’s FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Indonesia.

READ MORE: More games defaulted at tournament >>>>

Latest group standings

Group A (final)

Group B (final)

Group C (final)

READ MORE: All our stories from the OFC U-19 Championship >>>>

The draw

The group winners and runners-up from each group progress to the quarter-final stage, as well as the two highest-ranked third-placed teams.



Q2: TAHITI v VANUATU (see above story)




Winners Q1 v Winners Q2

Winners Q3 v Winners Q4

About the OFC U-19 Championship

New Zealand have won the championship at seven of the 22 previous tournaments.

New Zealand are the current title holders, having won in 2018, the last time the championship was held.

More football stories