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Whelp! 😬😵 
A big loss in Malaysia to end the international window for PNG. 

Just when it seems the other OFC nations take a step forward on the international stage, we tend to get a pretty quick sharp reminder of where we're at as a confederation, as well as a seemingly big boot up the arse on the pitch too...

Not many positives to take from that one unfortunately for the PNG lads.


Legend
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On the other hand Vanuatu have done pretty well in that tourney in India.

After losing to 3-1 to Lebanon, another loss 1-0 to the hosts & then a 1-0 win over Mongolia.
https://us.soccerway.com/teams/vanuatu/vanuatu/2302/
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YoungHeartHM


Whelp! 😬😵 
A big loss in Malaysia to end the international window for PNG. 

Just when it seems the other OFC nations take a step forward on the international stage, we tend to get a pretty quick sharp reminder of where we're at as a confederation, as well as a seemingly big boot up the arse on the pitch too...

Not many positives to take from that one unfortunately for the PNG lads.


Bizarrely it was 0-0 going into half time (then Malaysia scored in first half injury time)...then to concede 9 in the second half...?!
Opinion Privileges revoked
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You can see the highlights on YouTube; Malaysia were dominant from the get-go but were kept out by desperate defending in the first half. A case of PNG running out of steam, it seems
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Sounds like he's made whistlestop tours throughout the pacific while he's been in attendance at the Women's World Cup.

Wonder if there's been any movement/chats on this Oceania Pro League that was mentioned a while back? Talk seems to have gone cold since then...
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Slow progress it seems. OFC Pro League won't kick off until 2025.

https://www.oceaniafootball.com/vacancy-pro-league-manager/

Following a four-year consultation process, The OFC Executive Committee are planning to kick off their new Professional League in 2025. With this in mind, we are looking for an experienced consultant to come on board to develop and implement the next steps of this exciting project.

Legend
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Let the brown paper bags flow.

https://www.oceaniafootball.com/ofc-signs-mou-with-saudi-arabian-football-federation/

Though it sounds like the joint Saudi-Egypt-Greece 2030 WC bid ain't going to happen. The vote buying for a bid like that could have made Qatar look all squeaky clean.
https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/saudi-arabia-pulls-out-of-2030-world-cup-race-20230623-WST-439187.html

To be fair it seems the Saudis are trying to modernise, football wise at least. Or just pulling an elaborate con job.

“The recent development of women’s football in Saudi Arabia with a women’s football league and a women’s national team is commendable and OFC will be happy to share its expertise and help SAFF in this area.”  OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said.

Starting XI
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Couple of friendly matches completed over the past couple of days for both the men's and women's sides of both Tahiti and the Cook Islands. 

Really nice to see and especially so for the Cook Islands who rarely play matches at all outside of World Cup Qualifiers and Pacific Games campaigns. In fact, the last time they were involved in a couple of friendly matches was back in 2009 where they played a pair of friendlies in Tonga. 

No doubt this was some final preparation for the upcoming Pacific Games to be held in Honiara in November/December as well. So a good chance for both sides to get out and get some minutes.

Women's results
28/8
🇵🇫 1 - 0 🇨🇰
31/8
🇵🇫 1 - 1 🇨🇰

Men's results 
28/8 
🇵🇫 9 - 1 🇨🇰
31/8
🇵🇫 3 - 0 🇨🇰
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2nd edition of the MSG Prime Minister's Cup rolls around this weekend. Hosted in Noumea this year, having been hosted in Port Vila last year.

Only 4 teams this year too - Obviously no Vanuatu 'B' team this time around, but more surprisingly no Fijian team this year either due to funding issues. 

Papua New Guinea are the defending champions, having beaten the aforementioned Vanuatu 'B' 4-1 on penalties last year in front of a big Port Vila crowd (Having finished 3-3 after ET).

This competition should provide an excellent build up to the 2023 Pacific Games which kick off next month in Honiara as well - Fiji will be there too!
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Live stream for the 1st match of the Prime Minister's Cup.

In case the YouTube embedded video doesn't work - Link:
https://www.youtube.com/live/auJc7NsT1wY?si=zk6c3MRqQ1etpRj1

So good to see these matches getting covered/streamed live too. It seems the island nations are getting better at delivering their product out to the big wide world. In years gone by no one would have even known these matches would have taken place! 

Commentary in French as run by FCF TV.
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14 minute hat-trick for Raphael Lea'i as 10 man Solomon Islands run down Papua New Guinea 3-1 in Noumea.
Marquee
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Does anyone know if he looks cut out for A-League level? I read somewhere he wasn’t enjoying being based in Bosnia(?) and may be leaving. He’s clearly a good player and young so wondered if he was on the Phoenix radar.
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Yesterday's results:
FB_IMG_1696829306556.jpg 25.1 KB

10 man Solomon Islands overcome a 1-0 deficit late on, and thanks to a Raphael Lea'i hat-trick they come out 3-1 winners.

New Caledonia far too strong for Vanuatu who are without their defensive talisman Brian Kaltak for this tournament, as he remained in Australia with the Central Coast Mariners in preparation for the upcoming A-League season.
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Results from Wednesday.
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Solomon Islands & New Caledonia with two wins each, they play each other tomorrow to decide this year's champions. 🏆

Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu the other fixture to see who comes third. 🥉
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wearing warm tops in Fiji? they're going to get a shock landing in Wellington. 
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Participants for the Men's & Women's football at the upcoming Pacific Games in Honiara.

No New Zealand in either competition - Hardly surprising given we've never sent a squad for the Women, and only sent the Men in 2015 as part of Olympic Qualifying (U-23's - Remember that one...) and were Champions in 2019 with an U-23 squad.
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Pacific Games 2023 is underway in Honiara.

Few mishaps to start off with, with Kiribati withdrawing from the competition altogether, and Tuvalu seemingly not getting into the Solomon Islands before their first game against PNG, which has now been rescheduled, rather than forfeited as had been reported.

Anyway matches have kicked off in both the men's and women's competitions. Mens have 4 x 3 team pools, women's have 1 x 4 team pool and 2 x 3 team pools.

Men's results
🇸🇧 1 - 0 🇼🇸
🇳🇨 7 - 0 🇹🇴
🇫🇯 10 - 0 🇲🇵

Women's results
🇨🇰 2 - 5 🇳🇨
🇵🇬 9 - 0 🇦🇸
🇵🇫 2 - 3 🇼🇸
🇸🇧 1 - 0 🇻🇺

Legend
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Results so far by pool
Group A
🇳🇨 7 - 0 🇹🇴
🇹🇴 1 - 2 🇨🇰
Matches to come to decide the group
🇳🇨 v 🇨🇰
IMG_20231123_200054.jpg 90.78 KB

New Caledonia strong favourites to progress having never lost to the Cook Islands.

Group B
🇵🇬
3 - 0 🇹🇻 (W/O)
🇹🇻 0 - 6 🇻🇺
🇻🇺 1 - 1 🇵🇬
Screenshot_2023-11-23-20-05-50-78_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpg 88.47 KB

As you can see, PNG extremely hard done by as they get awarded a 3-0 win after Tuvalu fail to turn up in time, but then Tuvalu turn up to get whacked by Vanuatu a few days later, leaving Vanuatu needing only a draw to progress to the knockout rounds - They duly obliged. Although I see there is a small possibility that Tuvalu and PNG may be rescheduled. No word on that though.

Group C
🇫🇯 10 - 0 🇲🇵
🇫🇯 0 - 0 🇵🇫
To be played
🇲🇵 v 🇵🇫 - Tahiti need to win by 11 goals to progress to the knockouts. Piece of piss yeah?
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Group D
🇸🇧 1 - 0 🇼🇸
🇼🇸 10 - 0 🇦🇸
🇸🇧 11 - 0 🇦🇸
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Even though they don't progress, Samoa the team of this group for mine. Not even ranked heading into this tournament, they hold hosts to a tight game and then pick up record 10-0 win against their neighbours. Hopefully they can keep on the upward trend going forward. 🤞


Starting XI
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For places 9-12. 
Tuvalu deal to Tonga, and Northern Mariana Islands deal to American Samoa.
Tuvalu will now play Northern Mariana Islands for 9th, while Tonga will play American Samoa for 11th.

For places 5-8.
Looks like the Cook Islands have forfeited from here on in, so will finish 8th with PNG awarded a 3-0 win to put them in to the 5th place playoff against Tahiti, who overcame Samoa 2-1 in what looked to be a fiery contest (check the cautions and expulsions...)
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🇸🇧 v 🇳🇨 Final
🇫🇯 v 🇻🇺 3rd place match.
Roy Krishna back on club duty in the AFC Cup last night so that's his Pacific Games done.

Solomon Islands have had a very good tournament. They'll be my favourites in the final given the home advantage. Final will be played at the brand new National Stadium in Honiara.
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Legend
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New stadium financed by the Chinese Govt. Australia also has a presence there at the moment providing security during the Games, which are getting good daily coverage on one of the SBS channels here.

Solomons a bit of strategic battle ground now, for various USA/Japan/Australia aid projects verus China aid. Infrastructure in SI the winner, plus no doubt the bank accounts in Panama, Switzerland or wherever of a few Solomons govt ministers/officials - that have had a deposit of Yen.

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Interesting investigating about the Cook Islands team and their default/walkovers.

Not in contention for medals so flew home a week early to get cheaper flights and save on accomodation was my interpretation.  Not a good look.
Legend
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Pacific Games - PNG win the women's comp, and New Caledonia the mens.

PNG becoming a bit of a force in the OFC women's game, but Ferns even with a weakened side (non FIFA window dates) will still be too strong OFC Olympic qualifying tourney Feb next year. But hopefully will be some signs that at least PNG & Fiji are closing the gap a little.  Womens game in the other OFC nations (esp the Francophone ones) still looks very weak.

https://www.oceaniafootball.com/papua-new-guinea-and-new-caledonia-take-pacific-games-glory/
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Looks like American Samoa need another movie...or American coach LOL
YoungHeartHM
For places 9-12. 
Tuvalu deal to Tonga, and Northern Mariana Islands deal to American Samoa.
Tuvalu will now play Northern Mariana Islands for 9th, while Tonga will play American Samoa for 11th.

For places 5-8.
Looks like the Cook Islands have forfeited from here on in, so will finish 8th with PNG awarded a 3-0 win to put them in to the 5th place playoff against Tahiti, who overcame Samoa 2-1 in what looked to be a fiery contest (check the cautions and expulsions...)
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A Mariners fan on Reddit claims one of Kaltak's international team mates is on trial with them atm.
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Oh, a reply said he was passed on 
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Missed this news coming out at the beginning of December. But Brian Kaltak looks to be starting his own football academy back in Vanuatu.

https://www.dailypost.vu/vanuatu_sports/kaltak-to-set-up-football-academy/article_bcea6e7e-d94c-58a6-a5b1-4db8cbe284cf.html

Good for the country and the region if he can get it off the ground over the next couple of years. One would assume that CCM would be all over something like this as a potential source of talent too. I guess it remains to be seen on the finer details.
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Maybe not thinking of specifically turning out for New Caledonia in the near future given he's gone through the French U17's & U19's setups and plays at a very good level over in Portugal.

But you never know down the line what may eventuate. Firmly in line to progress with France at this stage however.

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Another Papua New Guinea playing in Aussie. Alwin Komolong signs on for Lions FC in QLD NPL.
Legend
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I thought the Komolong brothers looked impressive for PNG at that OFC tourney in Qatar in 2022. If OFC guys could be locals in the ALM I reckon he could have got a contract.

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Oh, a reply said he was passed on 

Problem being they need to be import standard, rather than simply journeyman standard. 
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Seen the fixtures updates on Eloratings and thought that it was weird that these fixtures had been put through.


But apparently this is a new FIFA initiative 'The FIFA Series' to introduce more cross confederation fixtures between nations who rarely play such games in the international arena. Looks like it will be a biennial thing going forward as well - 2024, 2026, 2028 etc.

FIFA does cop a lot of shark (not entirely blameless mind you) but this is actually a brilliant idea. I imagine that they'd be backing the fixtures financially too. 

Never thought I'd say this, but props to FIFA. 🤜🤛

For reference, despite the similarities, the W Cup is not a part of this FIFA Series. 
Marquee
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That is great and there’s a real chance of results for the Oceania sides.

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