Socceroos thrash Guam 9-0
The Socceroos' tyros have delivered the goal haul needed to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the East Asian Cup, thrashing minnows Guam 9-0.
Aaron Mooy and Michael Marrone both netted in the big win at Hong Kong Stadium on Friday night to make it the first time in 32 years that two Australians have scored on international debut in the same match.
Eli Babalj, in only his second Socceroos game, also found the back of the net in both halves with an Archie Thompson hat-trick and goals from Mark Milligan and Richard Garcia rounding out the scoring.
Qualification will now come down to the final matches with Australia now equal with North Korea's goal difference of plus 10 ahead of their clash against Taiwan on Sunday when the Koreans face Hong Kong.
It didn't take long for the first chance Friday with Matt McKay, wearing the captain's armband in place of Brett Emerton, setting up playmaker Tomas Rogic who forced a save from Guam 'keeper Doug Herrick just four minutes in.
But it was Western Sydney's Mooy who found the back of the net in the 11th minute, beating the Guam wall with a superb free kick.
Babalj thought he had doubled the advantage moments later but was ruled offside.
He made no mistake in the 20th minute however when the Red Star Belgrade striker got on the end of a ball from his former Melbourne Heart teammate Marrone to put Australia up 2-0.
Marrone got a goal of his own just before the break to make it 3-0.
Babalj continued the goalfest in the second half, taking advantage of Herrick coming way off his line to slot it home.
Coach Holger Osieck made what turned out to be an inspired substitution a minute later, sending Thompson on for Babalj and the veteran netted twice in three minutes to take Australia to an emphatic 6-0 advantage.
Scott Jamieson was fouled in the box soon after and Thompson stepped up to take the penalty in the 64th minute to secure a hat-trick in just five minutes.
Herrick, who plays with Major League Soccer team Seattle, did his best to prevent Thompson from scoring his fourth with a spectacular save.
Thompson's Melbourne Victory teammate Mark Milligan found the net in the 70th minute for an 8-0 lead.
Osieck sent Garcia on for McKay with 10 minutes to go and the Melbourne Heart player added another less than a minute later to complete the rout.
Osieck said while the young guns impressed, the veterans had played a vital role.
"I took the opportunity tonight (Friday) to give the young players a run," he said.
"And yes they tried hard and they tried to impress but, it was the experienced players also (who) scored the goals.
"There's still a bit of a gap between talent and experience but all in all it was an easy victory tonight.
"We easily could have scored a lot more goals but it's good that it didn't happen because I felt sorry in a way for the other team and it's bad when you get a two digit score against them."
Guam's English coach Garry White praised his players' courage despite the world No.181 side being comprehensively beaten.
"It was a tough game for us but I really can't fault the players' desire," he said.
"The Australians came out from the beginning needing to get goals so it was probably the hardest they were going to play in this tournament and we just happened to be on the end of it."