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Sam Kerr breaks record as Matildas open Asian Cup with 18-0 rout of Indonesia | Matildas


Matildas captain Sam Kerr has become Australian football’s greatest international goal-scorer as Australia began their Women’s Asian Cup campaign with a record-breaking 18-0 win over Indonesia.

Kerr scored five goals including a hat-trick inside the opening 27 minutes in Mumbai on Friday as Australia put the lowest-ranked nation in the tournament to the sword. Her haul takes her tally to 54 goals for her nation, surpassing Tim Cahill’s record of 50 international goals in the process.

Only the crossbar denied Kerr nabbing just the second double hat-trick in Matildas history when she smacked a second-half penalty into the woodwork.

“Timmy’s a legend in Australia, so to be even in the same conversation as him, it’s an amazing honour,” Kerr said. “I said after the game there’s no team I’d rather do it with. It’s an honour to wear the jersey for the Matildas.”

Kerr’s haul is the first time a Matilda has scored five goals in a game since Kate Gill achieved the feat in a 15-0 win over Hong Kong in Coffs Harbour in 2007. Friday’s result eclipses that thrashing as Australia’s biggest victory margin against Asian opposition and is the third-biggest win in Matildas history.

As well as Kerr’s exploits, Emily van Egmond grabbed four in the rout while full-back Ellie Carpenter, winger Hayley Raso and second-half substitute Kyah Simon all bagged doubles. Caitlin Foord and Mary Fowler also found the scoresheet in the first half before Aivi Luik marked her Matildas return following the decision to come out of retirement with a first international goal.

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson was unapologetic for naming a strong starting XI and bringing on experienced subs such as Simon and Luik against the world No 94 Indonesians, making their first Asian Cup finals appearance in 33 years.

“I’ve been in a similar situation before as a coach going into a tournament when you have a low-ranked team in the opening game and how important it is to treat that team with respect but also show respect to our values and our standards,” he said.

“There’s different reasons but the number one reason is that we need that cohesion between the players and get off on a good start to send some messages to ourselves and to the other ones how we are treating this tournament.”

While there was no game time for uncapped Cortnee Vine and Asian Cup first-timers such as Kyra Cooney-Cross, Remy Siemsen and Charlotte Grant, Melbourne City teenager Holly McNamara did come off the bench to make her Matildas debut in the second half.

“If I could have played all 23 players today I would have loved to do that but there’s limited amount of subs and I then had to make some priorities,” Gustavsson said. “I do want to make a point though in terms of Holly coming in and we have a debutante in the Asian Cup coming in that had never been with the national team before.

“It’s no coincidence that Holly played. It’s not because I want to hand out a cap to someone, it’s because you’ve earned it by performance.”

The Matildas continue their campaign on Monday against the Philippines, coached by ex-Australian mentor Alen Stajcic, while Indonesia take on Thailand in their next match.



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