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Dec 14, 2012

Thompson set for Socceroos history

Socceroo striker Archie Thompson is on course to make history when Australia takes on Taiwan on Sunday, as he bids to become Australia's highest goal scorer of all time.

Australia posted a 9-0 rout of minnows Guam on Friday with Thompson scoring one of the fastest hat-tricks from a substitute in international football, plundering three goals in just five minutes.

The Socceroos were already 4-0 up when Thompson replaced Eli Babalj in the 57th minute to begin his assault on Guam's hapless defence to leave him sitting just one goal away from equalling Damian Mori's all-time record of 29 Socceroos goals.

And the 34-year-old is likely to surpass it against the 176-ranked Taiwan.

But the Melbourne Victory striker said he was just happy to have delivered the goal haul needed to keep alive hopes of qualifying for the 2013 East Asian Cup.

"I don't even take all that much notice of it really," Thompson said.

"To be honest I just really want us to qualify for the tournament next year, that's my main focus.

"When you're playing against that kind of opposition and scoring goals as we are it's hard to take those accolades.

"I'm happy to have scored the goals but the main thing was that we made up the goals that we needed to."

Coach Holger Osieck stuck to his plan of playing more of the squad's rookies and the same can be expected when Australia face Taiwan on Sunday.

Aaron Mooy and Michael Marrone both netted in the big win over the world No.181 on Friday night to make it the first time in 32 years that two Australians have scored on international debut in the same match.

Red Star Belgrade striker Babalj, in only his second Socceroos game, also found the back of the net in both halves with goals from Mark Milligan and Richard Garcia rounding out the scoring.

Qualification will come down to the final matches with Australia now equal with North Korea's goal difference of plus 10 ahead of their final clash on Sunday when the Koreans face Hong Kong.

With North Korea to play the early match, the Socceroos will know exactly what's required to secure their berth to next year's showpiece before they step onto the pitch on Sunday.

"The Korean team is a very good side so we're expecting that they'll win," Thompson said.

"Whether it's comfortably we'll have to wait and see.

"The fortunate thing for us is that we get to see them play earlier and see what situation we're at and take it form there."

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