Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Bottom Five: Papua New Guinea

All the glamour goes to Spain, Holland, Brazil, etc., and rightfully so. But what about life at the bottom of the world rankings? In a five-part series, Staff Writer Chris Lillstrung looks at the five international soccer teams at the bottom of the FIFA rankings.


Manager: Joo Wan Jung
Notable players abroad: Reginald Davani (Brisbane Olympic, Australia)
What’s so bad: For one, they can’t seem to get a team on the field. Papua New Guinea hasn’t played a competitive match since 2007 and was disqualified from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup because they didn’t enter a regional tournament. For that reason, they haven’t earned a point in the FIFA rankings.
What’s good: Unlike their other counterparts who are at the bottom of the rankings, Papua New Guinea wins matches. The nation has won 16 matches total since its debut in 1963 and frequently plays neighbors Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Their last match in 2007 against Solomon Islands was a 2-1 win. Davani plies his trade in the lower leagues of Australia but has shown an ability to score for his country, with 15 goals in 19 appearances (watch Davani highlights here). The club teams in the country have also been more active than their fellow last-place squads, making some noise in the regional club champions league.


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