PREVIEW: Ferns to learn semi-final opponents at OFC Women’s Olympic qualifiers

Tuesday’s final round of group games will decide who meets who in the semi-finals at the OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier tournament in Samoa.

Four fixtures will go ahead in Apia to finalise pool positions at the tournament to decide who will represent Oceania at the Paris Olympics in July.

The top two sides from each pool will advance to the semi-final stage with each pool winner meeting the runners-up from the other group.

Main photo: Tuesday’s games will decide who the Ferns meet in Friday’s semi-finals.

Group A

Fiji are assured of their place in the semi-finals but their game against Solomon Islands will decide who tops the pool.

Solomon Islands coach Batram Suri told OFC Media: “It’s a big game. I approach the match not to lose, so more defensively than to attack and I hope the strategy will work.

“We know what we have to do to make the semi-finals.”

Papua New Guinea can still earn a place in the last four with a big win against American Samoa, and if Solomon Islands lose to Fiji.

PNG coach Eric Komeng told OFC Media:

“If it goes our way, we are going to take it at both ends. We just have to hope Fiji beat the Solomons and maybe have a chance to show our class against New Zealand (in the semi-finals).”

Group B

New Zealand are expected to finish top of Group B and can only lose top spot they lose to winless Vanuatu and if either Tonga or Samoa win their game by a huge score.

Barring such upsets, the game between Tonga and Samoa will decide who meets the winners of Group A in the semi-finals.

The semi-finals will be held on Friday February 16.

The winning semi-finalists will meet in a sudden-death final at 5pm (NZT) on Monday February 19, 2024..

Fixtures

Games to be played on Tuesday February 13, 2024

Group A

Solomon Islands v Fiji
Field 2, FFS Football Stadium, Apia, 11am (NZT)

American Samoa v Papua New Guinea
Field 1, FFS Football Stadium, Apia, 11am (NZT)

Group B

Vanuatu v New Zealand
Field 2, FFS Football Stadium, Apia, 4pm (NZT)

Tonga v Samoa
Field 1, FFS Football Stadium, Apia, 4pm (NZT)

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