Fiji to face PNG in OFC Women’s Nations Cup final

Fiji secured the spot after defeating Solomon Islands 3-1 in the second semi-final yesterday at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

The Solomon Islanders struck first via a penalty early in the match with Eileen Pegi putting them in front 1-0.

But it did not take long for the hosts to get to the score board after Cema Nasau connected well with a cross from Trina Davis to head home the equalizer.

Backed by the home fans, Fiji slowly found their way into the game.

Samoa tops Group A of OFC Women’s Nations Cup

The team took the top spot on the table after defeating Cook Islands 1-0 at the HFC Bank Stadium in Fiji’s capital, Suva last night.

Despite the loss, Cook Islands will progress to the quarter-finals after finishing second in the group, ahead of Tonga on goal difference.

The Cook Islands had a couple of early chances, captain Tayla Hetherington and Kura Mose both forcing Samoa goalkeeper Ronisa Lipi into action.

OFC cancels Beach Soccer Nations Cup

The regional championship was set to be held in Tahiti and serves as the Oceania qualifier for the Beach Soccer World Cup, but was rescheduled multiple times due to border closures throughout the Pacific.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said the organisation exhausted all possible options to play the tournament before coming to this decision.

"The sad reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that we have a number of hurdles to overcome to operate our tournaments and we are still unable to do so given the border closures throughout the Pacific," he said.

OFC U20 and U17 championships postponed

However, the tournaments remain on track to take place this year.

The events were supposed to take place last year to stage as qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 and FIFA U-20 World Cups but were delayed due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last month, FIFA cancelled the FIFA U-17 World Cup that was meant to be held in Peru in October and the FIFA U-20 World Cup that was set for Indonesia in May-June. 

The OFC’s Executive Committee has agreed to try and exhaust all possible options to play them in 2021. 

Samoan club Lupe Ole Soaga’s rise

The Samoan club created history earlier this year when they beat Fiji’s Ba FC 4-3 in their Group D OFC Champions League clash in Tahiti, which marked the first time a team had won a pool game since the current Qualifying Stage format was introduced in 2013-2014.

Lupe’s momentum carried them to domestic success as they recently defended their 2020 Samoa National League title. Their women’s side also claimed national honours, as well as their reserve team.

OFC boosts funding for governance, football development

OFC's 11 Member Associations will receive $NZ700,000 across two years - an increase of $NZ150,000 each year - while associate members Tuvalu and Kiribati will each receive $NZ60,000.

Of the $NZ350,000 annual grant, $NZ100,000 will be dedicated to national team costs with at least 25 per cent to be invested into the women's squad.

A further $NZ100,000 will be assigned to governance and management with the remaining $NZ150,000 to be spent on football development, with at least 25 per cent allocated to women's football.

Health and safety must come first - Oceania Football

OFC announced this week it had postponed all tournaments and meetings until 6 May, following advice from health authorities and member nations.

The affected events include the Under 16 Women's Championship, due to take place next month in Tahiti, which had already been postponed from December following the regional measles outbreak.

The knockout rounds of the OFC Champions League club competition are also being delayed.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said the decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of all their members.

Samoa's Lupe move through to group stages

Tupapa Maraerenga FC 0-0 Lupe Ole Soaga SC

The Samoan side had the better of the contest and looked the most likely to put a goal on the board – particularly during the second half – but Tupapa were able to repel their advances.

Tupapa goalkeeper Tahiri Elikana was kept busy throughout the match but Lupe also didn’t test him as much as they would have liked.

In the end, a draw was all Lupe needed to advance from the Qualifying Stage after they opened the three-team qualifying tournament with a 2-0 win over Veitongo FC on Saturday.

Samoa’s Lupe o le Soaga Football to face Pacific’s best

The squad that hails from the proud village of Magiagi were once again crowned Samoa Football Federation champions when the league was halted early due to the recent measles epidemic.

Lupe o le Soaga were awarded the championship in late November with a 14 win, 2 loss record.

Coach Paul Ualesi said “It was a close fought league this year. Teams like Kiwi FC and Vaipuna put up a good challenge, but our boys experience, dedicated training ethic and team spirit were factors that enabled us to succeed”.

Samoa football team ready for OFC Champions League qualifier

The team meets Veitongo FC of Tonga in the opener at Ngahue Reserve in Auckland on Saturday.

Prior to their departure, Lupe Ole Soaga team members and management attended a special service at Magiagi Methodist Church in Samoa.

Reverend Faavae Sooalo inspired the players with the biblical story of Gideon and his soldiers who were surrounded by enemies.

Of the thousands of Gideon’s soldiers, only 300 returned who lapped water from the brook putting their hand to mouth.

Rev Sooalo said the soldiers who drank desperately failed.