TongaFootball > News > 2011 National Men's Team > Tonga maps path to FIFA world cup 2014.

Tonga maps path to FIFA world cup 2014.

This first round tournament will be staged in Samoa from November 22 to 26 and will see Tonga up against American Samoa, Cook Islands and Samoa for a place in the OFC 2012 Nations Cup.
Opting not to participate in the recent New Caledonia 2011 Pacific Games, the national men’s team travelled in September to New Zealand on a 10 days development tour instead.
Tonga’s national head coach, Chris Williams, an Australian volunteer, said his team has come a long way and to be able to knot a draw against New Zealand’s Eastern Suburbs FC and a win over Albany United FC during their ‘opponents preparation’ tour is assuring.
“It’s certainly exciting to know what lies in wait for us now if we are successful in stage one” Williams says.
However, Tonga will certainly be going into the tournament as underdogs and cant afford to get too far ahead of themselves but must concentrate triumphing the preliminary stage to qualify to take on the likes of OFC’s top eight countries – namely Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu in Fiji, from June 3 to 11, the next qualifying stage.
“It will be a fantastic experience for our players and we’ll be doing everything in our power to ensure we can cause a few upsets in Samoa and earn the privilege to play on at Stage 2 in June, 2012″ Williams adds.
Stage two tournament, will be based on a league system with semi-finals and a final with the winner going on to represent OFC in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The four highest placed teams from the second stage will then contest stage three which is a round robin, home-and-away play-off series. The matches are foreseen to take place between 7 September 2012 and March 26 2013 in FIFA windows. The winner of the third stage will advance to the intercontinental playoff for a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
OFC’s top qualifier will square off against the fourth best side from CONCACAF – the North America, Central America and Caribbean federation. A change from the previous pathway, when they faced Asia’s fifth best.
With the tournament just around the corner, Tonga has intensified final preparations and will come into camp later this month before departing to Fiji on the 15th November for a friendly match and will leave Fiji for Samoa on the 19th November.
The team will be accompanied by Fetu’u Vea as head of delegation, Kilifi Uele, technical advisor along with Chris Williams, head coach, and his two assistants, Taniela Fonua and Timote Moleni, as approved by President Lord Ve’ehala and his Executive Committee, when they convened last night. TFA’s General Secretary, Lui Aho, will also be present in Samoa to support the team.
This four-team competition is the first step on the Oceania qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
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