THE HISTORY OF THE OFC NATIONS CUP

Oceania Football Confederation's flagship competition the OFC Nations Cup has been played for since 1973 with Australia and New Zealand regularly exchanging the title of champions. New Zealand became the first winners of the OFC Nations Cup tournament in 1973 defeating Tahiti 2-0 in the final.

The next edition of the OFC Nations Cup would not be played for a further seven years until New Caledonia hosted the tournament. Australia swept aside all opponents on their way to a 4-2 final victory against Tahiti. Australia would retain the OFC Nations Cup until the next tournament in 1996.

Once more Australia dominated after disposing of New Zealand in a two-legged semi-final. Polynesian champions Tahiti qualified for the final after a victory over Melanesian champions Solomon Islands but they were no match for Australia who defeated them 11-0 on aggregate.
Australia hosted the 1998 OFC Nations Cup but New Zealand caused a major upset when they defeated the Australians 1-0 thanks to a goal from Mark Burton. New Zealand's victory meant qualification for the FIFA Confederations Cup – Mexico 1999 and signalled a shift in football power in the region for the first time since 1982.

New Zealand's moment proved temporary with Australia regaining the title in 2000 with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the final in Papeete, Tahiti with Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu in some instances competitive but ultimately short on the quality required to halt the confederation's ‘big two'.

In 2002 New Zealand were crowned OFC Nations Cup champions when Ryan Nelsen's goal from a set-piece helped defeat Australia 1-0 at Mount Smart Stadium. New Zealand's victory ensured qualification for the FIFA Confederations Cup – France 2003.
The OFC Nations Cup took on double importance in 2004 with the tournament doubling as FIFA World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup qualification stakes. Australia qualified for the OFC Nations Cup Final comfortably.

They were joined by the Solomon Islands after Vanuatu upset New Zealand 4-2. Australia defeated Solomon Islands 11-1 on aggregate to secure the OFC Nations Cup and progress toward a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay and a place at the FIFA Confederations Cup – Germany 2005.

OFC NATIONS CUP PREVIOUS WINNERS


YEAR

WINNERS

RUNNERS-UP

2004

Australia

Solomon Islands

2002

New Zealand

Australia

2000

Australia

New Zealand

1998

New Zealand

Australia

1996

Australia

Tahiti

1980

Australia

Tahiti

1973

New Zealand

Tahiti