WATCH: CommBank Matildas emphatically defeat Philippines 8-0
The CommBank Matildas have defeated the Philippines 8-0 in an emphatic performance in front of 59,155 fans in Perth.
Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord scored hat tricks - in between Mary Fowler’s opener and Clare Wheeler’s first international goal - on the way to inflicting the Philippines’ heaviest-ever defeat. Foord was the standout, involved in all but Kerr’s third goal and racking up a total of four assists.
Tony Gustavsson made ten changes from the side that lined up against Iran on Thursday, with Ellie Carpenter the sole survivor in the starting eleven. That meant that the side resembled the team that fans became familiar with at the World Cup – including goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, the ever-present midfield duo of Kyra Cooney-Cross and Katrina Gorry, and captain Sam Kerr.
Australia opened their account with a sublime goal in the 15th minute. A switch of play from centre-back Alanna Kennedy found Hayley Raso, who was able to control the ball and find Kerr. After a neat wall pass to Carpenter, the ball was whipped into the box to Foord, who helped the ball to Fowler at the back post with a cheeky backheel. Fowler made no mistake with the finish, the ball coming in off the inside of the post to make it 1-0.
Less than five minutes later, the CommBank Matildas doubled their lead. This time it was Sam Kerr who scored. She was the beneficiary of good work from Foord driving into the penalty area and cutting it back to her captain, who made no mistake in front of her hometown crowd.
Sam Kerr returned the favour to her strike partner in the 30th minute. Mary Fowler released Kerr, who played it to Foord, who finished neatly. She scored her brace four minutes later. A clearance from Filipino goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel could only find Hayley Raso, whose ball to Foord perfectly split the defence.
Sam Kerr made it five right on the stroke of halftime. She was in acres of space after a ball from Foord, and after taking her time to pick the right spot, hammered it into the top of the net.
The Philippines made two changes at half-time but it wasn’t enough to stop the Matildas. Less than thirty seconds into the second half, Sam Kerr had her hattrick, heading a cross from Fowler into the back of the net.
Not wanting to miss out, Foord scored her hat trick ten minutes later. After some good work from Mary Fowler to stay upright under heavy defensive pressure, the ball spilled to Foord. It was a fantastic finish from a tight angle into the top of the net to score her third international hat trick, and her first since 2020.
The 64th minute saw four substitutes introduced – Cortnee Vine, Amy Sayer, Clare Wheeler, and Emily van Egmond entered the pitch. They replaced Hayley Raso, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry and Sam Kerr.
Auistralia's final goal was a special one, both for the pinpoint finish and for the goalscorer. It was substitute Clare Wheeler who scored her first international goal after – who else – Caitlin Foord laid it off for her on the edge of the area. Her shot was too powerful for McDaniel in goal, and the 25-year-old couldn’t contain her joy to score.
The only dampener to the occasion was a hamstring injury to Cortnee Vine, forcing her off the pitch not long after coming on.
In all, it was an unequivocally decisive performance from the CommBank Matildas that left the vast majority of the nearly 60,000 fans at Optus Stadium singing the names of their heroes.