The Matildas are on top of the world – and on top of their Olympics qualifying pool.
Caitlin Foord delivered a 29-minute hat-trick to power the Matildas to an electric 7-0 triumph over Chinese Taipei in their Olympic qualifier in Sydney.
With Sam Kerr starting from the bench on Friday, Foord scored in the ninth, 24th and 38th minutes to show why she recently signed with Arsenal.
Left-back Stephanie Catley, right-winger Hayley Raso, substitutes Katrina Gorry and Kerr also got on the scoresheet to ensure Australia moved to the top of its pool.
Despite the Mulan fielding a back-five and the wet conditions, a dynamic Australia attack was able to create a whopping 23 more chances than its opposition.
And the result was one of the Matildas’ more dangerous displays in recent memory, setting the tone for the rest of their qualifying matches.
They next face Thailand on Monday before meeting China on Thursday.
The comprehensive win came hours after China showed their
intent by putting six past Thailand in their first pool match of the Campbelltown double-header.
The Matildas need to finish in the top two of their pool to book advance to the final stage of qualifying against the opposite pool.
Matildas coach Ante Milicic made six changes to the side that last played in their win over Chile in November, including Kerr being iced on the bench.
And the home side was dominant from the outset, with its midfield in particular putting the ball on the platter for the in-form Foord.
It began with a simple one-two with the recalled Kyah Simon early in the contest, and then a no-look through ball from Emily Van Egmond soon after.
Van Egmond again assisted for Catley seven minutes later, with the left-back chipping over the advancing goalkeeper for her third international goal.
Chinese Taipei’s best chance of the half came in the 33rd minute when an inswinging free kick fell to the feet of skipper Ting Chi, but she fluffed her chance wide.
— Caitlin Foord (@CaitlinFoord) February 8, 2020
Foord completed her second international hat-trick, courtesy of another Van Egmond touch-pass, for a four-goal advantage at the break.
The goals continued to flow in the second period, with Raso scoring on the counter in the 54th minute for just her fourth international goal.
Not content with their five-goal lead, Kerr was introduced on the hour-mark and the skipper delivered with another goal on the counter.
Gorry completed the rout with their seventh goal in added time.