Guinea win last spot at Olympic Games and meet New Zealand in group opener

New Zealand will face African side Guinea in their opening pool game at the Summer Olympics in Paris.

Guinea clinched qualification for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament with a 1-0 play-off victory over Indonesia on in the early hours of Friday (NZT), May 10, 2024.

The intercontinental play-off decided the final nation to qualify for the 16-team men’s Olympic tournament.

Main photo: Guinea … needed a penalty to win Olympic qualification. Photo credit: FIFA.

Ilaix Moriba’s first-half penalty proved decisive in a tense encounter at Clairefontaine, France.

Guinea will play in Group A with host nation France, the United States and New Zealand.

In the play-off, Guinea were the more progressive team from the outset and hit the front just before the half-hour mark.

After a lightning quick break, attacker Algassime Bah was brought down in the penalty box by Indonesia’s Witan Sulaeman. Moriba stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and duly slammed the ball home.

The African side had a golden opportunity to double their advantage shortly after half-time but Mohamed Soumah’s close-range effort was cleared off the line.

Indonesia then came close to an equaliser on the hour when substitute Alfeandra Dewangga’s glancing header went just wide.

Dewangga was soon in the thick of the action again when he conceded a penalty after a challenge on Bah. After a lengthy delay – during which Indonesia coach Shin Tae-yong was sent off for his protestations about the penalty award – Bah took the kick himself but his effort clipped the post and went wide.

Indonesia huffed and puffed in search of a late leveller but Guinea held out to punch their ticket to Paris 2024.

The African side will be competing at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament for the second time, with their only previous appearance coming in 1968.

Guinea … through to the Olympic Games. Photo credit: FIFA.

Reaction from the Guinea squad

Kaba Diawara (head coach): “We’re qualified, so we’re rewriting history with these young ones. They’ve earned it. This will be the second time that Guinea has taken part in the Olympic Games. We’re going there to try and go as far as possible.”

Saidou Sow (captain): “We’re all happy, what we’ve done is historic, it hasn’t happened since 1968. All we want to do now is celebrate our qualification, savour it and look forward to the Olympics. It’s a pretty complicated group [that awaits us in France] but we’ll be there to win, to fight and to show that Guinea is quite something.

“Despite our opponents, we’re going to push and we’re going to arrive ready. I grew up in the Paris region, and to play at the Parc des Princes, in front of my friends and family, has always been a dream of mine.”


We acknowledge the assistance of FIFA in providing information and images for this story.


Game played on Friday May 10, 2024 (NZ)

Indonesia 0
Guinea 1 (Ilaix Moriba 29′)

The teams that will contest the Olympics

Group A

  • France
  • United States
  • Guinea
  • New Zealand

Group B

  • Argentina
  • Morocco
  • Iraq
  • Ukraine

Group C

  • Uzbekistan
  • Spain
  • Egypt
  • Dominican Republic

Group D

  • Japan
  • Paraguay
  • Mali
  • Israel

About the teams


Head coach: Thierry Henry

How they qualified: As hosts

Previous tournaments: 13 (Paris 1900, London 1908, Antwerp 1920, Paris 1924, Amsterdam 1928, London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Rome 1960, Mexico 1968, Montreal 1976, Los Angeles 1984, Atlanta 1996, Tokyo 2020)

Best result: Gold medal (Los Angeles 1984)

United States

Head coach: Marko Mitrovic

How they qualified: Won the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship

Previous tournaments: 14 (St. Louis 1904, Paris 1924, Amsterdam 1928, Berlin 1936, London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Munich 1972, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008)

Best result: Silver medal (St. Louis 1904)


Head coach: Kaba Diawara

How they qualified: AFC-CAF play-off winners

Previous tournaments: 1 (Mexico City 1968)

Best result: Group stage (Mexico City 1968)

New Zealand

Head coach: Darren Bazeley

How they qualified: Won the 2023 OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Previous tournaments: 3 (Beijing 2008, London 2012, Tokyo 2020)

Best result: Quarter-final (Tokyo 2020)

Olympic fixtures

Games to be played on Thursday July 25, 2024 (NZT)

France v United States
Stade de Marseille, Marseille, 7am (NZT)

Guinea v New Zealand
Stade de Nice, Nice, 3am (NZT)

Games to be played on Sunday July 28, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v United States
Stade de Marseille, Marseille, 5am (NZT)

France v Guinea
Stade de Nice, Nice, 7am (NZT)

Games to be played on Wednesday July 31, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v France
Stade de Marseille, Marseille, 5am (NZT)

United States v Guinea
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne, 5am (NZT)

The men’s football tournament at the Olympics

Men’s football at the Olympics is restricted to under-23 players (born on or after January 1, 2000), though each team can select up to three overage players.

Match venues for the tournament are Paris, Bordeaux, Décines-Charpieu (near Lyon), Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Saint-Étienne.

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