OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2015

Teamphoto of Fiji before the Men’s Group C match between Germany and Fiji at the Rio2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Joern Pollex – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The eighth edition of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament took place in 2015 to decide the OFC representative for the men’s football tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The tournament also doubled as the men’s football tournament for the 2015 Pacific Games and was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The format consisted of two groups of four, with the top two in each group progressing to the semi-finals.

Fiji and Vanuatu progressed to the semi-finals from Group A, while New Zealand were joined by hosts Papua New Guinea from Group B. Napolioni Qasevakatini lit up the first semi-final with a hat-trick as Fiji defeated Papua New Guinea 3-1. New Zealand advanced to the Olympic Qualifying final with a 2–0 win but were replaced by Vanuatu on the day of the final after the OFC found that they had fielded an ineligible player. The match was declared a 3–0 victory for Vanuatu.

Samuela Nabenia of Fiji competes for the ball with Erick Aguirre of Mexico during the Men’s First Round Group C match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Fiji made history by becoming the first OFC nations other than Australia or New Zealand to qualify for the Olympic men’s football tournament, defeating Vanuatu in a penalty shoot-out 5-4 after the match finished goalless after 90 minutes and extra-time in the final. Jale Dreola slotted the winning penalty for Fiji, sending them to the 2016 Olympics and also securing their first OFC Olympic Men’s Qualifying title.

At the Olympics the Fijians were drawn alongside South Korea, Germany and Mexico in Group C. Their opening fixture saw them face South Korea, who put Fiji to the sword, scoring eight goals to inflict a hefty defeat on the OFC representative. Up next against Mexico, the Fiji stunned the world, Roy Krishna opened the scoring after 10 minutes to put them ahead 1-0. In the second-half, Mexico stormed back scoring five unanswered goals to avoid a shock defeat. The Fijian side had little chance against Germany, who eventually went on to finish runners-up at the tournament, as they were thrashed 10-0 in their final group match.

Roy Krishna of Fiji celebrates scoring first goal during the Men’s First Round Group C match between Mexico at Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)