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Papua New Guinea women's national football team

The Papua New Guinea women's national football team is controlled by the Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA). Its nickname is the Lakatois, which is a Motuan sailing vessel. Their home ground is the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, located in Port Moresby and their current manager is Peter Gunemba. Deslyn Siniu is the team's most capped player and top scorer.

Papua New Guinea has never qualified for a FIFA Women's World Cup or the Olympic Games, but won the Pacific Games Football Tournament on four occasions (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015) and finished second in the OFC Women's Nations Cup three times (2007, 2010 and 2014). It can be considered the second-best team in the Oceania Football Confederation after New Zealand.

Since September 2017, Papua New Guinea's FIFA ranking is 119, which means the team is unranked. Their highest ever ranking was 48, in December 2014 and December 2016–March 2017, and their worst ranking was 133 in September 2014.

History

1989–1998

Papua New Guinea played its first international game on 26 March 1989 in the Australian city of Brisbane facing the Australia B-side on the 1989 Oceania Cup. The match resulted in a 2–0 loss for the Papuan team. Geraldine Eka was Papua New Guinea's first scorer, on the lost game against Taiwan (6–1). In the two remaining matches, their rivals were New Zealand and Australia (senior team), with whom they lost both games. The Papuans finished on the bottom of the table, after being defeated in the four games.

The team participated on the 1991 and 1994 editions of the Oceania Cup, with the second being on home soil in the country's capital, Port Moresby. In both editions, they faced Australia and New Zealand, losing to them by thrashing defeats. During that period, Papua New Guinea got its biggest loss, 16–0 with New Zealand. Both tournaments also served as the qualifiers for the first FIFA World Cup, held in China in 1991 and the second, in Sweden in 1995.

The Papuans won the 1996 Pacific Cup in Tonga with Miriam Lanta's help. In the same year, they managed to achieve their only draw with New Zealand.

The 1998 Oceania Cup in New Zealand saw a small improvement on the national team. They finished in the third position of the competition after beating Fiji 7–1 on the third place match. Other results include a victory over American Samoa and two defeats with Australia and New Zealand.

2000s

After 5 years without playing any games, Papua New Guinea re-appeared with coach Francis Moyap, in the 2003 Oceania Cup, celebrated in Australia during April 2003. The Papuans finished third once again. This edition included two new rivals: the Cook Islands and Samoa, teams which they defeated by 5–1 and 5–2, respectively. Midfielders Lydia Banabas and Glenda Matthies were notable players in this competition. Papua New Guinea had an average attendance of 412.5 people per match.

On the same year, the Papuan squad participated in the inaugural South Pacific Games women's football tournament, held in Fiji during June–July. This time, the national team achieved their biggest victory in their opening match, 13–0 over Kiribati, with Deslyn Siniu scoring a total of six goals for her country. With 13 points, thanks to four victories, one tie and one loss, Papua New Guinea won the gold medal in this competition. This time, the Papuans had an average attendance of 800 people per match.

Despite having won the Pacific Games tournament, the national team did a regular performance at the 2004 Olympic qualifying tournament, where it faced Australia and Fiji in a round-robin system competition.

The team appeared in the 2005 Arafura Games tournament, and finished with poor results.

Without Australia in the OFC, Papua New Guinea hosted the Oceania Cup again in 2007. All the games were played in Lae. This time, the team won against their neighbors, the Solomon Islands and Tonga (in fact, by an own goal scored by Tonga's Mele Vaisioa Mahe Niukapu). On the last game, the team lost the chance of qualifying to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China after losing to New Zealand.

The Papuans won their second gold medal in Samoa in the 2007 South Pacific Games. In the group stage, the team had very impressive victories (6–0 against American Samoa; 4–0 against the Solomon Islands; 4–1 against the Cook Islands) and a narrow loss (1–0 against Fiji). It advanced to the semi-finals along with Tahiti, and won 5–0, allowing them to advance to the final game, where they confronted Tonga at the Toleafoa J.S. Blatter Complex. After a hard game, Papua New Guinea won 3–1 after extra time with the help of Daisy Winas, Ara Midi and Lydia Banabas. The aforementioned was the national team's top scorer again, with a total of eight goals. Thanks to this result, the Papuans qualified for a play-off against New Zealand to determine Oceania's representative at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Papua New Guinea played the Olympic play-off qualifier on 8 March 2008, but they lost 2–0.

2010s

With an attendance of 60 people, the Lakatois started their 2010 Oceania Cup campaign facing Fiji at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Papua New Guinea won the game 3–0 with a scoreline of 1–0 in the half-time. Both the second and third matches (2–1 against the Solomon Islands and 3–0 against Tonga, with an own goal of the Tongan goalkeeper Lupe Likiliki) resulted in victories. Papua New Guinea advanced to the semi-finals to beat the Cook Islands by 1–0. The final, disputed on 8 October 2010, saw the Kiwis and the Papuans struggling once again for the Oceania Cup title in front of an audience of 900 people. New Zealand finished as the champion for the fourth time, after thrashing Papua New Guinea 11–0. Zeena Limbai had a brilliant participation, after scoring four goals for PNG.

With one goal from Miriam Louma against Tahiti, the Papuan team started their 2011 Pacific Games road in New Caledonia, coached by Steven Mune. They achieved a second victory, against American Samoa, by 8–0, including an own goal. It was followed by a loss against the hosts, New Caledonia (2–1) and a victory over the Solomon Islands (1–0). The national team advanced to the semi-finals, where they faced Fiji, winning the game 4–0. In the gold medal/final game, the Papuan squad confronted the Caledonians for the second time in the tournament. Christelle Wahnawe scored for the Caledonians and Ara Midi and Linah Honeakii for the Papuan team, thus making 2–1 the final result. PNG received the gold medal for the third time.

PNG failed to qualify for the London 2012 Summer Olympics despite having a very good performance on the first stage of the qualifiers, disputed in Tonga from March to April 2012. They had an attendance average of 973.8 people per match.

With the former Australian footballer Gary Phillips as the squad's manager, Papua New Guinea started the 2014 OFC Nations Cup winning 4–1 on home soil, at the Kalabond Oval in Kokopo against the Cook Islands. The Lakatois were defeated by the Kiwis 3–0 on the second game. The tournament finished with a 3–0 win to Tonga. Meagen Gunemba was PNG's top scorer, with four goals, and goalkeeper Fidelma Watpore was awarded with the Golden Gloves.

The Papuans had a tour on Southeast Asia on March 2015. They faced Singapore and Thailand.

The national team finished first in the Group B of the 2015 Pacific Games (on home soil), and had a victory against Samoa to advance to the final match, facing New Caledonia. Marie Kaipu gave the Papuans a fourth gold medal after scoring on the 21st minute.

The Lakatois' latest game was the 2016 Olympic qualifier against the Kiwis, which resulted in a 7–1 loss. A second leg was supposed to be played, but the Papuan team couldn't travel to New Zealand due to visa issues.

Coaching staff



Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the 2019 Pacific Games from 7–20 July in Apia, Samoa.

Caps and goals updated as of 20 July 2019, after the game against Samoa.

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.

Other squads

  • 2014 OFC Women's Nations Cup squad

    Player records

    Most capped players

    :As of September 10, 2017 :Players in bold are still active.

    Top goalscorers

    :As of September 10, 2017 :Players in bold are still active.

    Managerial history

    Results and schedules

    2019

    Record against other nations

    Honours

  • OFC Women's Nations Cup ::Runners-up (3): 2007, 2010, 2014

  • South Pacific Games ::Winners (4): 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015

  • Pacific Cup ::Winners (1): 1996

    Competitive records

    FIFA Women's World Cup

    Olympic Games

    OFC Women's Nations Cup

    Pacific Games

    Pacific Cup

    Arafura Games