All Whites to face Tahiti in Thursday’s semi-finals at OFC Men’s Nations Cup

New Zealand will meet Tahiti in the semi-finals of the OFC Men’s Nations Cup, as a result of the concluding group games at the tournament.

In Saturday’s Group B, Fiji went top of the pool with a 1-0 win against Tahiti, ensuring both sides progressed to the last four.

As runners-up in Group B, Tahiti will face the All Whites on Thursday, while Fiji will meet Vanuatu in the second semi-final.

A Roy Krishna penalty – his third in two matches – was the catalyst for a scrappy 1-0 win for Rob Sherman’s Fiji side.

Main photo: Roy Krishna (9) receives the plaudits of teammates. Photo credit: OFC Media / Kirk Corrie / Phototek.

Coach Samuel Garcia’s Tahiti side had the better of the opening period, with captain Teaonui Tehau an influential figure throughout the half.

Shawn Tinirauarii and then Taumihau Shan had two chances in quick succession, but neither were able to trouble Isikeli Sevanaia in the Fiji goal.

The breakthrough came within the half-hour, when Tahiti goalkeeper Teave Teamotuaitau rushed out to close down Sairusi Nalaubu, only to upend the forward, conceding a penalty.

Krishna – as he did twice in the 9-1 win over Samoa – took charge and slammed his effort down the middle to break the deadlock, much to the delight of the passionate home fans at the HFC Bank Stadium, in Suva.

Tahiti worked hard to find a path towards parity, with Tehau again the creative fulcrum. Just before the hour mark, the captain worked the ball to Tauhiti Keck, but the subsequent effort flew over the bar.

Just over five minutes later, Matéo Degrumelle – who has enjoyed a good tournament – fired a low volley from just inside the area, forcing an excellent low save from Sevanaia, maintaining Fiji’s lead.

Fiji almost grabbed a crucial second thanks to an error from Pothin Poma, whose slack back-pass beat his own goalkeeper, only for Teamotuaitau to scramble back and claw the ball off the line.

There proved to be no late drama from either side, as Fiji repelled any attempts by Tahiti to search for the two goals that would have seen them leapfrog their hosts.

Papua New Guinea beat Samoa 2-1. Photo credit: OFC Media / Kirk Corrie / Phototek.

Earlier in the day, Papua New Guinea beat Samoa 2-1.

Coach Ryan Stewart made a number of changes to his Samoa side, who had already been eliminated, including bringing in goalkeeper Luke Taupau for his tournament debut.

The Samoans started brightly, with the excellent Jarvis Vaai causing Papua New Guinea problems. The midfielder had an effort deflected wide in the early stages.

Desperate for the win, Papua New Guinea slowly grew into the match, with Ati Kepo and Tommy Semmy to the fore.

An excellent run and cutback from Jethro Yumange found Semmy on the penalty spot, and he made no mistake in drilling a first-time effort past Taupau to make it 1-0.

More was required for Warren Moon’s team though, as they sought to eat into Tahiti’s superior goal difference.

A crucial second arrived in the early stages of the second period, thanks to a combination from the Kepo brothers, with Kolu releasing Ati with an excellent through ball and the forward made no mistake, tucking the ball under Taupau to double the lead.

Semmy went close to a second just after the hour mark when given plenty of time and space on the edge of the area but the powerful forward could only curl his effort over the bar.

Samoa came to life minutes later and after Niko Steinmetz found Luke Tolo-Kent, and the full-back’s excellent cross was headed in from close range by Pharrell Trainor to halve the arrears.

Knowing a single goal victory wasn’t likely to be enough in their bid to reach the final four, Papua New Guinea poured forward but were continually frustrated by a resolute and hard-working Samoan backline.


We are grateful for the help of OFC Media in providing information for this story.


Games played on Saturday June 22, 2024

OFC Men’s Nations Cup

Pool B

Samoa 1 (Pharrell Trainor 67′)
Papua New Guinea 2 (Tommy Semmy 28′, Ati Kepo 47′)

Fiji 1 (Roy Krishna 24′, pen)
Tahiti 0

Final standings


Games to be played on Thursday June 27, 2024


New Zealand v Tahiti
VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 12pm (NZT)

Fiji v Vanuatu
VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 4pm (NZT)

Games to be played on Sunday June 30, 2024

Play-off for third place

Loser semi-final 1 v loser semi-final 2
VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 12pm (NZT)


Winner semi-final 1 v winner semi-final 2
VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 4pm (NZT)

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