Continuing my theme of focusing on world football’s minnows, my attention turns again to the mighty Tahiti. Having featured their incredible OFC Nations Cup win this year (and thus entry into the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil) in a previous blog post, I thought an update was due on their progress.
And progress has unfortunately not been great. Two World Cup qualifiers down, two defeats. The Oceania World Cup qualifiers consist of a round robin featuring the four sides who got through to the OFC Nations Cup semi-finals: Tahiti, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.
Tahiti’s matches in the group so far have seen a 2-0 defeat away to the Solomon Islands, followed by a 4-0 defeat at home to New Caledonia (the side they beat 1-0 in the OFC Nations Cup final). Not completely hideous, you might think; given New Zealand, however, managed an 8-1 aggregate win (6-1 and 2-0) against the same two sides really does not bode well for the French Polynesians’ trip to Brazil.
At the Confederations Cup, Tahiti will end up in a group with either Brazil or Uruguay, either Spain or Italy, and one of Mexico, Japan and the winner of the Africa Cup of Nations. That will, particularly given their recent results, be an absolutely gargantuan task for such a tiny country. I really hope they can find some Brazilians or Spaniards with Tahitian ancestry between now and June 2013, otherwise they might be on the end of some seriously nasty hammerings in Brazil. Their next two qualifiers (a home and away double-header with New Zealand) will really show how bad, or otherwise, it could get.