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Sam Kerr becomes Australia’s all-time international goal-scorer

(Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Sam Kerr became the top international goal-scorer for Australia on Thursday as the Matildas began their Women’s Asian Cup campaign with a record-breaking 18-0 win over Indonesia.

Kerr notched five total goals, including a hat-trick within the first 27 minutes, to bring her total goal tally to 54. The number surpasses Tim Cahill’s previous record of 50 international goals. The crossbar denied Kerr just the second double hat-trick in Matildas’ history when she hit a second-half penalty off of the post.

Kerr recently came in second in voting for Best FIFA Women’s Player of 2021.

“Timmy’s a legend in Australia, so to be even in the same conversation as him, it’s an amazing honour,” Kerr said. “I said after the game there’s no team I’d rather do it with. It’s an honor to wear the jersey for the Matildas.”

The five total goals is the first time a Matilda has scored that many goals in a game since Kate Gill did so in 2007.

Friday’s result is also the third-largest win in Matildas’ history.

Emily van Egmond nabbed four goals while Ellie Carpenter, Hayley Raso and Kyah Simon all notched two goals apiece. Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler and Aivi Luik each contributed one goal.

Matildas’ coach Tony Gustavsson defended the decision to field such an experienced group following the game.

“I’ve been in a similar situation before as a coach going into a tournament when you have a low-ranked team in the opening game and how important it is to treat that team with respect but also show respect to our values and our standards,” he said.

“There’s different reasons but the number one reason is that we need that cohesion between the players and get off on a good start to send some messages to ourselves and to the other ones how we are treating this tournament.”

Australia next plays the Philippines on Monday while Indonesia will take on Thailand.