2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)

The Oceanian section of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification acted as qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia, for national teams which are members of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). A total of 0.5 slots (i.e. 1 inter-confederation play-off slot) in the final tournament was available for OFC teams.[1]

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)
Tournament details
Dates31 August 2015 – 5 September 2017
Teams11 (from 1 confederation)
Tournament statistics
Matches played35
Goals scored106 (3.03 per match)
Attendance127,093 (3,631 per match)
Top scorer(s)New Zealand Chris Wood (8 goals)
2014
2022

The 2016 edition of the OFC Nations Cup once again doubled as the second round of the OFC qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (similar to the 2012 OFC Nations Cup and the OFC qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup).[2] Unlike in 2012, however, the team that won the qualifying competition and advanced to the intercontinental play-off, New Zealand, was the same team that also won the OFC Nations Cup and represented the OFC at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

FormatEdit

The qualification structure was as follows:[2][3][4]

The OFC had considered different proposals of the qualifying tournament.[5] A previous proposal adopted by the OFC in October 2014 had the eight teams divided into two groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches in the second round, followed by the top two teams of each group advancing to the third round to play in a single group of home-and-away round-robin matches to decide the winner of the 2016 OFC Nations Cup which would both qualify to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.[6] However, it was later reported in April 2015 that the OFC had reversed its decision, and the 2016 OFC Nations Cup will be played as a one-off tournament similar to the 2012 OFC Nations Cup.[7]

EntrantsEdit

All 11 FIFA-affiliated national teams from the OFC entered qualification.[8] The four lowest ranked teams (based on FIFA World Ranking and sporting reasons) entered the first round, while the other seven teams entered the second round.

Bye to second round Competing in first round

ScheduleEdit

The schedule of the competition was as follows.[5][9][2][3][10]

Round Matchday Date
First round Matchday 1 31 August 2015
Matchday 2 2 September 2015
Matchday 3 4 September 2015
Second round
(OFC Nations Cup)
Matchday 1 28–29 May 2016
Matchday 2 31 May – 1 June 2016
Matchday 3 4–5 June 2016
Semi-finals 8 June 2016
Final 11 June 2016
Round Matchday Date
Third round Matchday 1 7–15 November 2016
Matchday 2
Matchday 3 20–28 March 2017
Matchday 4
Matchday 5 5–13 June 2017
Matchday 6
Final first leg 28 August – 5 September 2017
Final second leg

The inter-confederation play-offs were scheduled to be played between 6–14 November 2017.[11]

First roundEdit

The match schedule was revealed on 30 July 2015, following a draw held at OFC Headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand.[12]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification        
1   Samoa 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 6 Advance to 2016 OFC Nations Cup/second round 3–2
2   American Samoa 3 2 0 1 6 4 +2 6 2–0
3   Cook Islands 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6 1–0
4   Tonga (H) 3 0 0 3 1 8 −7 0 0–3 1–2 0–3
Source: FIFA
(H) Host.

Second roundEdit

The draw for the second round was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[14]

Group stageEdit

Group AEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification        
1   Papua New Guinea (H) 3 1 2 0 11 3 +8 5 Qualification to Nations Cup knockout stage
and World Cup qualifying third round
1–1 2–2 8–0
2   New Caledonia 3 1 2 0 9 2 +7 5 7–0
3   Tahiti 3 1 2 0 7 3 +4 5 Qualification to World Cup qualifying third round 1–1 4–0
4   Samoa 3 0 0 3 0 19 −19 0
Source: FIFA
(H) Host.

Group BEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification        
1   New Zealand 3 3 0 0 9 1 +8 9 Qualification to Nations Cup knockout stage
and World Cup qualifying third round
1–0 3–1
2   Solomon Islands 3 1 0 2 1 2 −1 3 0–1
3   Fiji 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 3 Qualification to World Cup qualifying third round 2–3
4   Vanuatu 3 1 0 2 3 8 −5 3 0–5 0–1
Source: FIFA

Knockout stageEdit

While the results of the OFC Nations Cup knockout stage matches have no effect on the teams qualified for the third round of World Cup qualifying, for statistical purposes these matches are considered part of World Cup qualifying, with FIFA counting goalscorers in the qualifying statistics, and cards given may contribute to suspensions in the third round of World Cup qualifying (similar to the setup for 2014 World Cup qualifying).

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
8 June – Port Moresby
 
 
  New Zealand1
 
11 June – Port Moresby
 
  New Caledonia0
 
  New Zealand (p)0 (4)
 
8 June – Port Moresby
 
  Papua New Guinea0 (2)
 
  Papua New Guinea2
 
 
  Solomon Islands1
 

Third roundEdit

The draw for the third round was held on 8 July 2016, 11:00 NZST (UTC+12), at the OFC headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand.[16]

GroupsEdit

Group AEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification      
1   New Zealand 4 3 1 0 6 0 +6 10 Advance to OFC Final 2–0 2–0
2   New Caledonia 4 1 2 1 4 5 −1 5 0–0 2–1
3   Fiji 4 0 1 3 3 8 −5 1 0–2 2–2
Source: FIFA

Group BEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification      
1   Solomon Islands 4 3 0 1 6 6 0 9 Advance to OFC Final 1–0 3–2
2   Tahiti 4 2 0 2 7 4 +3 6 3–0[a] 1–2
3   Papua New Guinea 4 1 0 3 6 9 −3 3 1–2 1–3
Source: FIFA
Notes:
  1. ^ FIFA awarded Tahiti a 3–0 win as a result of the Solomon Islands fielding the ineligible player Henry Fa'arodo, after Tahiti had defeated the Solomon Islands 1–0. Fa'arodo failed to serve a one-game ban after receiving two yellow cards in the 2016 OFC Nations Cup.[18]

FinalEdit

The draw for the final (which decided the order of legs) was held on 15 June 2017, 16:00 NZST (UTC+12), at the OFC headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand.[19]

The winner of the final advanced to inter-confederation play-offs. Dates were set for the two-legged final as being between 28 August and 5 September 2017.[20]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
New Zealand   8–3   Solomon Islands 6–1 2–2

Inter-confederation play-offsEdit

The draw for the inter-confederation play-offs was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg.[3] The first-placed team from OFC was drawn against the fifth-placed team from CONMEBOL, with the OFC team hosting the first leg.[21]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
New Zealand   0–2   Peru 0–0 0–2

Top goalscorersEdit

8 goals
7 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals

For full lists of goalscorers, see sections in each round:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA.com. 30 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Preliminary competition format outlined". Oceania Football Confederation. 10 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Preliminary Draw procedures outlined". fifa.com. 9 July 2015. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Draw Procedures – Oceanian Zone" (PDF). FIFA.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b "OFC Executive Committee decisions". OFC. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  6. ^ "OFC Executive Committee outcomes". Oceania Football Confederation. 20 October 2014. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Football: Heat goes on NZ after switch". New Zealand Herald. 12 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Road to Russia with new milestone". FIFA.com. 15 January 2015. Archived from the original on 22 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Calendar of Events 2015". Oceania Football Confederation. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013.
  10. ^ "2018 WCQ Stage 3 Schedule & Results". Oceania Football Confederation. Archived from the original on 4 September 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  11. ^ "FIFA Calendar". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Stage 1 draw revealed". OFC. 30 July 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com.
  14. ^ "World Cup path laid out for Oceania". OFC. 26 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com.
  16. ^ "Stage 3 draw complete". Oceania Football Confederation. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com.
  18. ^ "Several member associations sanctioned for incidents during FIFA World Cup qualifiers and friendlies". FIFA.com. 19 December 2016.
  19. ^ "New Zealand at home first in OFC play-off". FIFA. Archived from the original on 14 July 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Next steps to Russia laid out". Football NZ. 8 July 2016. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  21. ^ "The Preliminary Draw results in full". FIFA.com. 25 July 2015. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015.

External linksEdit