The Football Ferns will meet Papua New Guinea home and away for a place at the London Olympics later this month, 18 months after the two sides met in the final of World Cup qualifying.
Papua New Guinea today prevailed 2-0 over Tonga in the final of the OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier, setting up a two-legged playoff for Oceania’s sole spot at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
The first leg will be played in New Zealand on March 31 and the return leg in Papua New Guinea on April 4.
Papua New Guinea ‘s win n Tonga today was thanks to second half goals to Fatima Rama and Barbra Muta and a red card to Salome Va'enuku that left the hosts with ten players towards the end of the first half.
Papua New Guinea had set the pace throughout the group stage with a record of 20 goals for, and just three against across their three wins but the final proved a tougher affair with resolute Tongan defence – including a penalty save from Lupe Likiliki following the red card – making life difficult.
Papua New Guinea’s progression to the next stage reprises a recent them of qualification battles with the Football Ferns. In October 2010, the Football Ferns thumped Papua New Guinea 10-0 in the final of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup to book a place at the World Cup in Germany, while in 2007 a much tighter match saw the Ferns book a place at Beijing with a 2-0 win.
The Footbal Ferns have just finsihed an unbeaten Cyprus Cup campiagn beating Northern Ireland and drawing with South Africa, South Korea and the Netherlands.