NZ progress into Olympic football tournament

By The Crowd, The Crowd is a Roar Guru

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    New Zealand edged past Fiji 1-0 on Sunday to reach their second successive Olympic Games men’s football tournament.

    A Greg Draper penalty after 18 minutes settled the Oceania zone final played in Taupo where Fiji twice hit the woodwork.

    In the semi-finals, the Kiwis had beaten Vanuatu 3-2 while Fiji enjoyed a 3-0 win against Papua New Guinea.

    In other qualifying action, Syria narrowly escaped defeat against Oman on Sunday during the opening game of their three-team tournament, scoring an equaliser in injury time to draw 1-1.

    Syria’s Ahmad Aldouni saved Syria from an embarrassing defeat with a looping header in the 95th minute after the Gulf Sultanate had taken a shock lead.

    Oman’s captain Al Hadhri Hussain Ali Farah scored in the 44th minute of play, and the Sultanate kept up the pressure throughout the second half, although were unable to capitalise on a number of golden opportunities to score.

    The equaliser came as a relief to Syria, coached by Rui Almeida, ahead of a crucial game with Uzbekistan on Tuesday at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.

    They went a man down after Hussein Aljwayed was shown a red card but Oman were unable to make the most of the opportunity presented to them.

    Syria went into the match as favourites, with Oman’s presence in the Olympic playoffs described as “a miracle” by head coach Paul Le Guen at the pre-match press conference.

    Oman’s qualification to the playoffs came after FIFA awarded them a 3-0 victory in their fixture with Qatar.

    The November 27 match originally ended in a 1-1 draw but Qatar were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.

    © AFP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • March 26th 2012 @ 9:23am
      Futbanous said | March 26th 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      That was us before joining the AFC.
      So what do we prefer easy access to the Olympics qualifying through Oceania, or difficult access through the Asian qualifying path?
      I know I’d prefer the latter anytime,because the former taught us zilch about where we were at in football.

    • Editor

      March 26th 2012 @ 10:36am
      Tristan Rayner said | March 26th 2012 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      It’s a tough one to swallow seeing NZ go through when, as you say Futbanous, it could’ve been us! We have to suck it up and know we’re doing the best for us in the long run. And best of luck to the U23 All Whites

    • March 26th 2012 @ 11:53am
      Bondy said | March 26th 2012 @ 11:53am | ! Report

      We’ve missed out on giving the Cook Islands Vanuatu and Fiji another hiding damn .The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is intense in a sporting sense I dont even give New Zealand Netball an even break “crush them as well “, but not for football it’s the only sport were I will half cheer them on , like at the World Cup .

      Looking at those results there New Zealand only just scraped through, what if New Zealand only get beat by one goal against Germany Argentina and Croatia what does that say for P.N.G. Vanuatu, and the Fijian National Teams .

      Will be monitoring there progress at the Olympics good luck to them I hope they win a game or two .

    • March 26th 2012 @ 5:04pm
      Nathan of Perth said | March 26th 2012 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

      Best of luck in this one New Zealand

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