OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2016

New Zealand team to take on France at Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Arena Fonte Nova (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)


The fourth edition of the OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament took place in 2016 to decide the OFC representative for the women’s football tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

The tournament consisted of two stages. The first stage was the Pacific Games women’s football tournament, where the highest-ranked team advanced to the second stage. The 2015 Pacific Games were held in Port Moresby with the gold medal won by hosts Papua New Guinea, who advanced to the second stage.

As 2015 Pacific Games winners, Papua New Guinea earned the chance to face off with New Zealand in a two legged play-off, which was the second stage. Playing away in PNG, Football Ferns striker Amber Hearn and Analie Longo both scored twice, as New Zealand recorded a resounding 7-1 in the first-leg. A result that sent the Football Ferns to there their third straight Olympics after the second leg in Auckland was cancelled due to visa issues preventing Papua New Guinea from travelling to New Zealand.

Orianica Velasquez of Colombia and Amber Hearn of New Zealand compete for the ball at Rio2016 Olympic Games at Mineirao Stadium (Photo by Joern Pollex – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Facing juggernauts USA in their opening match of the 2016 Rio Olympics, New Zealand put in a commendable performance, going down 2-0 to the four-time Olympic Champions. The Football Ferns then picked up their first win of the football tournament, edging Colombia 1-0, the goal coming from Amber Hearn after half an hour. They were forced to finish with 10 players after captain Abby Erceg was sent off, before surviving a late scare to keep themselves alive in the tournament.

New Zealand were no match for France in Salvador in their third and final group G match, going down 3-0 to world number three. They had hoped they might scrape in as one of the best third-placed finishers, but did not.