Sport Football Emily van Egmond hat-trick guides Matildas to a 6-0 thrashing of Thailand

Emily van Egmond hat-trick guides Matildas to a 6-0 thrashing of Thailand

Emily van Egmond opens the scoring for the Matildas against Thailand on Monday night. Photo: Getty
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A hat-trick by influential No.10 Emily van Egmond has helped settle Australia’s nerves in a 6-0 Olympic qualifying win against Thailand in Sydney on Monday night.

The victory allowed the Matildas to secure a spot in the final round of women’s qualifiers for Tokyo 2020.

The top two teams in Group B advance to a winner-takes-all, two-legged playoff – set to be played in March.

Van Egmond popped up twice in the shadow of half-time to give the wasteful Matildas a deserved 2-0 lead, allowing the hosts the freedom to run rampant against their hapless opposition in the second half.

Backing up from Friday night’s 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei, the Matildas dominated in a first half that could have ended in frustration were it not for the Melbourne City playmaker’s unexpected scoring cameo.

She ghosted in a far post to volley home an Ellie Carpenter cross to open the scoring, before clinically finishing a Carpenter cutback second later, deep in injury time.

Van Egmond’s double provided relief for the Matildas after being frustrated by desperate defending and the woodwork in the Group B qualifier.

The 61st-minute double substitution by coach Ante Milicic (Sam Kerr replacing Emily Gielnik and Hayley Raso for Katrina Gorry) paid immediate dividends when Kyah Simon made it three in the 66th minute.

Van Egmond completed her hat-trick four minutes later, before Hayley Raso and Simon [again] completed a remarkable period of four goals in six minutes.

The night ended on a high, with Kerr denied a spectacular overhead goal that would undoubtedly have made global highlights reel with an equally spectacular save by Thai goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao.

Such was the domination, Thailand managed just one shot at goal throughout the match.

The win sealed Australia’s position atop the pool before Thursday night’s crucial match (7.30pm) against second-place China at Bankwest Stadium.

Earlier on Monday, China defeated Chinese Taipei 5-0.

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