Captain Sam Kerr strikes five in Australia’s 18-0 mauling of Indonesia in Asian Cup

By PTI

MUMBAI: Captain Sam Kerr struck five goals for the tournament’s first hat-trick in Australia’s 18-0 mauling of lowly Indonesia in their women’s Asian Cup opening match here on Friday.

The star Chelsea striker, who was named the FIFA Best Player Award runner-up recently, began the match one goal behind Tim Cahill in Australia’s all-time (male-or-female) top scorers’ list and ended it four ahead for a total of 54 in her 105th match.

The Group B match between the highest and lowest ranked teams at the Mumbai Football Arena turned out to be a completely lop-sided one with the 2010 champions scoring at will against an Indonesia side making their first appearance since 1989.

In another Group B match at DY Patil Stadium at Navi Mumbai, a goalkeeping howler by Thailand’s W Boonsing in the 81st minute gave Philippines a 1-0 win.

Chandler McDaniel’s drive from 20 yards saw Boonsing fail to hold on to the ball as it trickled across the goal line.

It was Philippines’ first win in 13 matches against Thailand.

Kerr, who was third in this year’s prestigious women’s Ballon d’Or Award, was one of eight Matildas to get their name on the score-sheet in the win against Indonesia, Australia’s biggest ever in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Indonesia put up a brave defensive display in the early minutes, but their resistance was broken when Emily van Egmond’s pass found Kerr, who steered home her 50th international goal on nine minutes.

That goal levelled Cahill’s record, and Kerr duly broke it just two minutes later, with another van Egmond pass giving the Australian captain a virtually unmissable sight at goal.

Kerr turned provider, teeing up Caitlin Foord for Australia’s third in the 14th minute, before Mary Fowler got in on the act with an accomplished finish three minutes later, and the Matildas were 5-0 up when Raso bravely headed home in the 24th minute.

With 94th ranked Indonesia powerless to combat Australia’s pace and movement, Kerr completed her hat-trick from the penalty spot shortly before a sensational 15-yard strike from Carpenter extended the lead further.

Eight quickly became nine when Kerr poked home her fourth from a few feet out, with van Egmond once again the provider, before van Egmond herself made it nine at half-time with a thumping penalty kick shortly after.

Head coach Tony Gustavsson made five changes to his 11th ranked team at the interval, but little changed on the pitch, with Carpenter brining up double figures with a speculative long range effort before Kerr took her individual tally to five, then set up the productive van Egmond for a cushioned header to make it 12-0.

Van Egmond completed her hat-trick and made it 13-0 just before the hour mark before Kerr missed a penalty kick.

Substitute Kyah Simon added to the tally before she made it 16-0 in the 71st minute.

It was a game raining with goals, but Aivi Luik scored the best of them when she superbly back-heeled Australia’s 17th in the 78th minute, before Raso gave the final touch for the biggest win of the competition in over 20 years.

The Philippines, however, finally broke the deadlock through McDaniel in the 81st minute when the forward’s drive from 20 yards saw Boonsing fail to hold on to the ball as it trickled across the goal line.

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