Matildas thrash Hong Kong by 15 goals

The Matildas have commenced the second and final stage of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics with a comprehensive 15-0 win over Hong Kong at the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour.

The Matildas have commenced the second and final stage of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics with a comprehensive 15-0 win over Hong Kong at the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour.

The Matildas raced to a six goal half time lead before adding a further nine goals in the second half in a match played in sunny, but blustery conditions.

Striker Kate Gill scored five goals for the second consecutive international match following her five-goal haul against Chinese Taipei in February. Midfielder Collette McCallum scored a hat-trick while there were also goals for Sarah Walsh 2, Cheryl Salisbury 2, Joanne Peters, Joanne Burgess and Danielle Small.

The match also saw the senior international debut for local Coffs Harbour resident Jenna Tristram, who came on at half time for defender Dianne Alagich.

After several early misses, it was no surprise when Australia opened the scoring in the 10th minute, through Walsh and when she added a second from close range just two minutes later, it was a case of by how many.

Midfielder McCallum then made it 3-0 minutes later after a mazy run through the defence, as Australia were simply too powerful for their inexperienced opponents.

Gill scored here first goal in the 26th minute, with a sweetly struck volley, while Peters pounced in the 33rd minute, to strike home after Burgess had struck the post.

McCallum made it 6-0 just before half time with a good shot from just inside the 18-yard box.

The second half was very much the same as the first, as Australia-s superior fitness told late in the game as the goals came at will.

Three goals in four minutes soon after the break from Gill, McCallum (hat-trick) and Burgess continued the onslaught, while Gill and Walsh also struck the woodwork.

Danielle Small got her name on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute, as did Gill just seconds later to complete her hat-trick.

Gill made it four goals two minutes later with another close range strike, as the score reached 12-0.

Australia continued the goals avalanche in the final 10 minutes, with captain Cheryl Salisbury grabbing two quick goals, while Gill made it her second successive five-goal haul in the dying minutes.

Salisbury almost made it a late hat-trick, but was denied by the woodwork.

The result falls short of the Matildas record 21-0 scoreline achieved against American Samoa in 1998.

Australia will travel to Chinese Taipei on Wednesday for the second Group B match next Sunday in Taipei.

Australia are also grouped with seeded team DPR Korea (North Korea) with only the top team in each group to progress to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

DPR are Asia-s highest ranked team listed at 5 on the FIFA Women-s World Rankings, while Australia are now ranked at an all-time high of 14. Hong Kong are ranked 68 and Chinese Taipei 28.

The Qantas Matildas have already qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup also to be held in China, September 10-30.

Match Details

AUSTRALIA 15 (Sarah Walsh 10-/12-, Collette McCallum 16-/43-/54-, Kate Gill 26-/52-/72-/74-/89-, Joanne Peters 33-, Joanne Burgess 56-, Danielle Small 72-, Cheryl Salisbury 85-/87-) HONG KONG 0

Australian line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Dianne Alagich (Jenna Tristram h/t), Cheryl Salisbury (c), Kate McShea, Heather Garriock, Lauren Colthorpe, Joanne Peters, Collette McCallum, Joanne Burgess (Danielle Small 64-), Kate Gill, Sarah Walsh (Thea Slatyer 82-)

Cautions: Garriock 14-

Referee: Mayumi Oiwa (Japan)

The Qantas Matildas squad for the opening Olympic qualifying home match v Hong Kong is:

Goalkeepers - Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Lydia Williams (Canberra), Emma Wirkus (Adelaide)

Defenders - Di Alagich (Sydney), Kim Carroll (Brisbane), Rhian Davies (Sydney), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Karla Reuter (Newcastle), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Thea Slatyer (Sydney)

Midfielders - Joanne Burgess (Sydney), Lauren Colthorpe (Newcastle), Collette McCallum (Perth), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Danielle Small (Sydney)

Forwards - Kate Gill (Newcastle), Jenna Tristram (Coffs Harbour), Sarah Walsh (Sydney) (* current home city)

The 18-strong squad will travel to Chinese Taipei on Wednesday 11 April for the second qualifying match in Taiwan on Sunday 15 April.

FIXTURES Australia v Hong Kong Saturday 7 April, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Chinese Taipei v Australia Sunday 15 April, 4pm Chungshan Stadium, Kaohslung, Chinese Taipei

DPR Korea v Australia Sunday 3 June Venue TBC

Australia v North Korea Sunday 10 June, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Hong Kong v Australia Saturday 4 August Venue TBC

Australia v Chinese Taipei Sunday 12 August, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

TV Coverage

SBS will show extended highlights of the Matildas match against Hong Kong in “The World Game” on Sunday 8 April with LIVE coverage of the team-s matches against North Korea on Sunday 10 June and Chinese Taipei on Sunday 12 August. Both LIVE matches will be shown as “The World Game” weekly Football Feature from 3:00pm.