What they said: Australian stars give their verdict on win over Thailand
The Westfield Matildas continued their free-scoring ways on Monday night as they defeated Thailand 6-0 to ensure their spot in the final round of Women’s Olympic Football Qualifying.
Midfielder Emily van Egmond scored her first-ever international hat-trick, while Kyah Simon grabbed a brace and Hayley Raso also got on the scoresheet at Campbelltown Stadium.
It was another outstanding performance from Ante Milicic’s side, meaning they need just a point in their final game against China on Thursday night to finish top of the group.
Here’s some of the best reaction from Matildas players and the boss after their big win over Thailand.
The Westfield Matildas boss said it was a move back to her favoured attacking midfield position which sparked Emily van Egmond’s hat-trick.
After providing a treble of assists in the win over Chinese Taipei last Friday, van Egmond was this time the beneficiary of Australia’s superb lead-up play with a sensational hat-trick.
"She's a No.10 and that's why we're trying everything we can to keep her there," Milicic said.
"She's got goals in her game. She's got assists. She's intelligent.
"(I'm) really delighted with how she's going and she really deserved that hat-trick."
Emily van Egmond
While delighted to have had a significant impact on the result, Australia’s chief destroyer was keen to play down her heroics.
Van Egmond was more focused on what the result meant for the team heading into Thursday’s final group match against China.
"I honestly don't care who scores, as long as we win the game,” van Egmond said.
"Of course it's a special moment to get a hat-trick, but I just to win the game and it is a really big step towards China.
"It's going to be a tough game, so we're going to go out there with the right mindset.
"We had to be calm and play our football. We scored two before the break, which was good, and then we came out and put the game to bed. I couldn't be more proud of the girls.”
STATS BREAKDOWN: van Egmond’s maiden international hat-trick leads the charge
Kennedy against Marshalled Australia’s defence superbly as they denied Thailand any threat on Mackenzie Arnold’s goal.
The experienced defender, who captained the Westfield Matildas with regular skipper Sam Kerr on the bench, praised her side’s ruthlessness in front of goal, as they have now racked up 13 goals in two games.
“I think we want to win our games but we want to win convincingly, so we are really happy to bang away six goals tonight,” Kennedy said.
“Obviously the big game we have all been looking forward to is China but we had to take those steps first and we are happy with the performances in the last two games and looking to take that form into the game against China."
Simon’s return to the Westfield Matildas squad after a lengthy injury absence has been one of the highlights of the opening two matches of the qualifiers.
The Melbourne City attacker scored twice in the second half as Australia’s dominance eventually told against a stubborn Thai defence.
“I think we got off to a slow start and then it was our character that got us through it,” Simon conceded.
“We started to problem solve a little bit better and play our style of play.
“We capitalised in the second half of the game and in larger parts of the game as the game went on.”
Matchday 4 – Thursday 13 February 2020
Western Sydney Stadium, Parramatta
- Australia v China PR – 7.30pm AEDT
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, and the My Football Live App – delayed on ABC TV.
International viewers - Live streamed via My Football YouTube channel