The Cook Islands national football team formed in 1971. The team joined both the Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA in 1994. The Cook Islands have a tiny pool to select players from. Total population of the islands is around 24,000.
The Cook Islands have entered world cups since the 1998 tournament hosted by France. In qualifying for that competition the team played and lost two matches. The team lost 2-0 to Tonga and 2-1 to Samoa, scoring their first world cup goal.
The first round of world cup 2014 qualifying in the Oceania confederation takes place as a round robin tournament. Each team played all other teams once. Only the winner of the tournament made it to round two. The Cook Islands national football team joined American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga in this round.
The first game of the round saw the Cook Islands lose a tight game 3-2 to Samoa. The winning goal came in the first minute of extra time. The second game saw an improvement with a 1-1 draw with American Samoa.
As the third and last round kicked off, any of the four teams could still qualify. The Cook Islands again fought hard but were undone by a late goal in a 2-1 loss to Tonga. The result saw the team finish bottom of the group with a single point.
The Cook Islands can be happy with their performance in world cup 2014. The team gained a point and game close to getting more from their other two matches.