- WORLD CUP 2002

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Wednesday, April 11, 2001
Australia smash two world records
By Dale Johnson

Australia have smashed two world records after thrashing American Samoa 31-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

The Socceroos share a joke during their world record win over American Samoa
The Socceroos share a joke during their world record win over American Samoa
The Aussies actually set a new record on Monday when hammering Tonga 22-0, but it was always on the cards that they would better that against a side ranked the worst in the world by FIFA.

So many goals went in that initial reports actually got the score wrong - suggesting that the final score had reached 32. The statisticians checked and checked again - only to realise that the score was 31-0. Not that the American Samoans were counting by that stage...

And it was a double celebration as striker Archie Thompson netted an amazing 13 goals for the side (at one stage they were saying 14...), beating the previous best of ten by Sofus Nielsen of Denmark and Gottfried Fuchs of Germany.

The 22-year-old Marconi Stallions player actually scored four times on his debut for his old club Carlton and was soon handed his international bow. Marconi currently lie sixth in the NSL, the former club of current Socceroos coach Frank Farina.

Thompson and Simon Colosimo, who scored twice in the game, walked out on Australian league club Carlton late last year after the club defaulted on their pay. He moved on to Marconi while Carlton were axed from the National Soccer League.

Few would have banked on him netted so many goals in an international match, however - he had only ever scored one goal for the senior side before.

It even looked at one stage as though he would choose to play for New Zealand before the Australian coaching staff selected him for their Olympic Games squad.

The striker has also had trials in Europe with Anderlecht and Sturm Graz.

Before heading to Belgium in January, Thompson admitted: 'I would love to stay on, and hopefully that will work out.' Unfortunately for him it didn't.

At one point David Zdrilic was playing catch up and managed to grab eight goals himself.

It was something of a miracle that it took Australia eight minutes to opening the scoring when Con Boutsianis, who recently admitted to being the getaway driver in an armed robbery, saw his cross loop into the back of the net. Boutsianis went on to record a hat-trick.

There was also two goals apiece for Colosimo, Tony Popovic and Aurelio Vidmar. Substitute Fausto De Amicis got on the scoresheet as well.

The Samoan side's campaign's doomed campaign was hampered before it even began as they discovered that 95 per cent of the squad didn't hold the required American passport. That meant they were forced to play with 14 and 15-year-old's in order to put a side out.

They don't even wear boots to play in their homeland and had to go and buy boots for the whole team prior to their opening 13-0 defeat at the hands of Fiji.

Australia, however, still face an uphill task to qualify for the Finals. Presuming they win their group they will then play-off against another Oceania nation for the right to face a South American nation. Only if they win that game will they qualify for Japan and South Korea.

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