Photo credit: Phototek via OFC Media

The Solomon Islands and New Zealand will face off in the Final of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament – Oceania Qualifier at Football Federation Samoa Stadium (FFS) in Apia on Monday evening.

The two sides have led strong campaigns throughout the tournament both placing top in their Group, New Zealand yet to lose a game, claimed their semi-final win over Fiji whilst Solomon Islands beat hosts Samoa 2-0.

New Zealand will be looking to continue their dominance and winning streak, having only conceded one goal this tournament, while Solomon Islands’ focus and determination throughout has secured their spot in the finals making history for the country.

For Solomon Islands’ Head Coach Betram Suri, playing New Zealand in the final will be tough but believes his side is ready.

“It will be very tough, but we are here to compete and have a good final against them. We need to be prepared to work, we will have to put the work in intensively and work very, very hard to match up the intensity they (New Zealand) will bring in the final”.

With the biggest challenge still yet to come, Solomon Islands side will look to focus on some key areas ahead of the final.

“Specifically attacking on the ball, wides right and left, those areas we need to look after well, and their finishing in front, defensively too, to not allow them to score,” said Suri.

Leading the team to the final stages of the tournament is proud Captain, Ileen Pegi.

“The team, we have challenges we face, struggles, the message Is never give up, don’t give up, keep pushing as we will make it. We reached the final, I think this is it,” said Pegi.

For Jitka Klimková’s New Zealand side, they will look to continue a strong presence however will be taking the final as a chance to improve their area of play.

“For us it is game number 5, another opportunity for us to play better football, we know we can play good football. In this game many, many times when we were moving the ball quickly and move off each other that is something we can be more consistent in our last game.”

New Zealand’s Captain Rebekah Stott commends the Solomon Islands’ side for their consistent performances but will seek to make New Zealand proud.

‘They have clearly been doing very well to get to the final and beta some teams like Papua New Guinea and Fiji It is very impressive, we will be looking over them today to see what we can do to hurt them.”

Monday’s encounter is a huge match with both sides fighting for a chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics however, it is especially significant for the New Zealand Captain as it will also be Stott’s 100th Cap for the nation.

“It’s a huge honour to be able to get to that many games for this national team, something very special, and to play it in a final is something special as well so we are hoping to win that game to get to the Olympic games.”


Watch the final match LIVE and FREE on FIFA+

Match Day 5
Monday, February 19

Final, 5:00pm
Solomon Islands v New Zealand | WATCH LIVE