Chinese Taipei 1-7 Australia: Socceroos boost goal difference in Group B

By Matt Dorman 15 October 2019 9
Chinese Taipei 1-7 Australia: Socceroos boost goal difference in Group B

Adam Taggart and Jackson Irvine hit first-half braces before Harry Souttar notched a headed double as Australia cruised to a 7-1 win over Chinese Taipei in World Cup qualifying.

Graham Arnold's men eased to a five-goal victory over Nepal on home soil last week and went one better despite a largely sluggish second half in Tuesday's low-key clash in Kaohsiung.

There was a moment to savour for the world's 129th-ranked nation courtesy of Chen Yi-wei's expert header in between the quickfire strikes from Taggart and Irvine.

The result was never in doubt, though, and Souttar made sure of a valuable boost to the Socceroos' goal difference, the defender improving his international haul to three in two games either side of neat finish from substitute Jamie Maclaren.

Suwon Bluewings striker Taggart ended a six-year interlude between international goals when he stooped to nod in Rhyan Grant's cross in the 12th minute.

He doubled the margin following a neat move involving Brad Smith and Awer Mabil in the 19th minute but the home side's spirits were lifted a mere 108 seconds later.

Chen Ting-yang delivered from the right and Chen Yi-wei planted a bullet header past Mat Ryan.

The celebrations were short-lived, though, as the visitors retook control through Irvine's two-minute double, the midfielder profiting first from a Grant knock-down and then Mabil's pinpoint cross.

Towering centre-back Souttar sparked the Socceroos into life amid a sleepy second period when he connected with a 73rd-minute free-kick from Ajdin Hrustic, who registered three assists in a lively cameo off the bench.

His second freed Maclaren in the box to make it six and another set-piece found Souttar two minutes from the end as the Group B leaders notched a third straight win in the second phase of Asian qualifying.

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Matt Dorman