Australia routed Guam 9-0 at the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament on Friday while striker Archie Thompson recorded one the fastest hat-tricks in international football history by scoring three goals in six minutes.
The huge win against an uncompetitive Guam gives the Socceroos a great chance of emerging top of their five-team group, and ahead of Korea DPR, on goal difference.
According to coach Gary White, Guam came into the game “not scared”, but they should have been. Australian coach Holger Osieck has been forced to play more rookies than maybe he would have liked due to having just a day’s break between matches, but against a helpless Guam debutants Aaron Mooy and Michael Marrone also made their own bit of history history; the pair became the first Aussie duo in 32 years to both score in their international debuts.
Red Star Belgrade’s Eli Babalj, in just his second game for the Socceroos, found the net in both halves, but it was Thompson that made headlines when he came in as a 57th minute substitute for Babalj to score a very quick three goals. He is now just a goal shy of Damian Mori’s Socceroo record of 29 goals. The 34-year-old has a chance to equal or surpass Mori’s mark in their final game against Taiwan.
Qualification for the next year’s East Asian Cup will come down to the final matches of both Australia and North Korea. Both teams can expect a win, Korea DPR faces Hong Kong who were reasonably competitive against the Socceroos earlier in the week, but just the team with the most goals can advance.
Taiwan is just the 176-ranked international team, meaning the Aussies a real shot at making the 2013 showcase tournament.
Crave has Australian sport covered.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.