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Stage 1 World Cup qualifying schedule announced

Stage 1 match schedules announced

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany TM – Oceania zone qualifiers

Auckland, 26 March 2004: The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has today announced the match schedules for Stage 1 of the upcoming combined 2004 OFC Nations Cup/2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, kicking off in May.

From 10-19 May 2004, the Solomon Islands and Samoa will co-host Stage 1, which involves the ten island nations vying for four qualifying berths to Stage 2 in Australia from 29 May – 6 June 2004 (venue tbc).

Australia and New Zealand are automatically seeded into Stage 2 and along with the four qualifiers, will compete in a round robin tournament to decide the two finalists who will playoff for both the OFC Nations Cup (9/13 October 2004) and OFC World Cup Qualifying final (3/7 September 2005).

The football mad Solomon Islands fans are sure to be out in force when Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara hosts the opening match of the Stage 1 (Group 1) qualifiers between the Solomon Islands and Tonga on the afternoon of 10 May 2004, a rematch of the last encounter between the two teams at World Cup qualifying level when Honiara hosted the Tongans in 1997. The crucial fixture looks to be in round three when the host nation takes on New Caledonia, the potential sleeping giant of the qualifiers after their superb showing at last year’s South Pacific Games.

The Stage 1 (Group 2) qualifiers will be held at the pristine Toleafoa JS Blatter football fields in Apia, Samoa. It will be the first time that Samoa has hosted a World Cup qualifying tournament and the home team will be out to replicate the heroics of their national under 23 team. With tough opponents such as Fiji and Vanuatu in their group, will the Samoans rise to the occasion with the home advantage? The Group 2 fixtures hotly anticipated will be the host nation playing Vanuatu in the third round and the final crunch match between Fiji and Vanuatu which will most likely decide who wins the group.

STAGE ONE: OFC NATIONS CUP / 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Match Schedule – Stage I – Group 1

Lawson Tama Stadium, Honiara

Monday, 10 May 2004

Round 1:

Solomon Islands vs Tonga 2:00pm

Tahiti vs Cook Islands 4:00pm

New Caledonia bye

Wednesday, 12 May 2004

Round 2:

Solomon Islands vs Cook Islands 2:00pm

Tahiti vs New Caledonia 4:00pm

Tonga bye

Saturday, 15 May 2004

Round 3:

Tonga vs Cook Islands 2:00pm

Solomon Islands vs New Caledonia 4:00pm

Tahiti bye

Monday, 17 May 2004

Round 4:

New Caledonia vs Cook Islands 2:00pm

Tahiti vs Tonga 4:00pm

Solomon Islands bye

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Round 5:

New Caledonia vs Tonga 2:00pm

Solomon Islands vs Tahiti 4:00pm

Cook Islands bye

(i) Group 1 teams: Solomon Is (host), Cook Is, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Tonga

(ii) Please note that all kick-off times are local in Honiara

(iii) There will be consecutive rest days on 13 & 14 May 2004

STAGE ONE: OFC NATIONS CUP / 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Match Schedule – Stage I – Group 2

Toleafoa J.S Blatter Complex, Apia

Monday, 10 May 2004

Round 1:

Papua New Guinea vs Vanuatu 2:00pm

Samoa vs American Samoa 4:00pm

Fiji bye

Wednesday, 12 May 2004

Round 2:

American Samoa vs Vanuatu 2:00pm

Fiji vs Papua New Guinea 4:00pm

Samoa bye

Saturday, 15 May 2004

Round 3:

Fiji vs American Samoa 2:00pm

Samoa vs Vanuatu 4:00pm

Papua New Guinea bye

Monday, 17 May 2004

Round 4:

American Samoa vs Papua New Guinea 2:00pm

Samoa vs Fiji 4:00pm

Vanuatu bye

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Round 5:

Fiji vs Vanuatu 2:00pm

Samoa vs Papua New Guinea 4:00pm

American Samoa bye

(i) Group 2 teams: Samoa (host), American Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu

(ii) Please note that all kick-off times are local in Apia

(iii) There will be consecutive rest days on 13 & 14 May 2004

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