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OCEANIA NATIONS CUP 2000

 

Preview

 

This is the fourth time this tournament has been held with previous editions in 1973, 1980 and 1998. It disappeared for 18 years between 1980 and 1998 but re-emerged to act as a qualifier for the Confederation Cup. It will be bi-annual from now on. This edition is being held in Tahiti from June 19-28 and includes Australia and New Zealand who qualify automatically plus the top two from both the Melanesian Cup and Polynesian Cup.

 

History

 

Australia and New Zealand are the two strongest sides in Oceania. Australia have the best side but can be upset by New Zealand as shown when they sent a weaker team in 1998. The previous results in the final are:

 

YEAR

WINNER

LOSER

SCORE

1973

New Zealand

Tahiti

2-0

1980

Australia

Tahiti

4-2

1998

New Zealand

Australia

1-0

 

Tournament

 

The tournament started with a bang with Australia winning 17-0 against Cook Islands, bettering their 16-0 score at the last edition of the tournament. Craig Foster scored four and Clayton Zane scored three. The Solomon Islands then beat Cook Islands 5-1 to set up a decider in the group which Australia won 6-0 to easily win the group. In the other group New Zealand came top easily, but Vanuatu, an all-amateur team, were impressive. Only in the tournament because of Fijiís withdrawal due to political reason they led New Zealand 1-0 for most of the first half and beat the hosts Tahiti, knocking them out of the tournament. They also came close to beating Australia in the semi-final, only losing 1-0 after a penalty in the fifth minute. This was an extremely impressive defensive performance. New Zealand beat Solomon Islands easily in the other semi-final, but this time unlike in 1998 they did not manage to upset Australia in the final, losing 2-0 with goals to Shaun Murphy and Craig Foster. A full list of results are shown below:

 

Group Stage

Group A

19/6 Australia           17-0 Cook Islands

21/6 Solomon Islands 5-1 Cook Islands

23/6 Australia             6-0 Solomon Islands

Group B

19/6 New Zealand      2-0 Tahiti

21/6 New Zealand      3-1 Vanuatu

23/6 Vanuatu              3-2 Tahiti

 

Semi-Finals

25/6 Australia             1-0 Vanuatu

25/6 New Zealand      2-0 Solomon Islands

 

3rd-Place Play-Off

28/6 Solomon Islands 2-1 Vanuatu

 

Final

28/6 Australia            2-0 New Zealand

 

Overall

 

The tournament proved once again that Australia are dominant in this region, winning easily despite missing their three best players; Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Mark Bosnich. They did not let in a goal all tournament and only struggled in the semi-final against Vanuatu. New Zealand showed they are better than any other team in the Oceania region but are still no match for Australia.

 

Top Goalscorer

5 - Craig Foster         - Australia

5 - Clayton Zane       - Australia

4 - Kevin Muscat      - Australia

2 - Paul Agostino      - Australia

2 - David Zdrilic        - Australia

2 - Chris Killen          - New Zealand

2 - Simon Elliott         - New Zealand

2 - Commins Menapi - Solomon Islands

2 - Gideon Omokirio - Solomon Islands

2 - Richard Iwai        - Vanuatu

 

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