West Aussie Hana Lowry scored twice as the Junior Matildas defeated hosts Thailand 6-1 to give Australia a great chance of progressing to the semi-final of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship for the first time since 2009.
The result means Australia need only a draw against Bangladesh on Saturday to reach the last four.
Alana Jancevski and substitute Georgia Beaumont also scored two apiece, while Perth’s Miranda Templeman followed up her player of the match performance in the goalless draw against Japan with another strong display.
Three other West Australians began the match on the bench – Tijan McKenna, Isabella Wallhead and Taneesha Baker.
Rae Dower’s side took the lead within five minutes and never looked back, piling on the goals in a dominant performance.
“I’m really proud of the whole team performance last night as we picked up our first win of the tournament,” said coach Dower.
“Against the home nation and with a strong crowd cheering them on, Thailand were a very good technical, well organised team. We needed to play well all across the park and our entire team, including the subs that came on executed the game plan very well.
“I thought our pressing was excellent and we created a number of goals from building sustained pressure on Thailand. Our combination play in and around the middle of the park was also very good and that led to scoring some really great team goals. The rain and pitch surface played it’s part, especially in the second half where we weren’t as clinical with our passing game trying to adapt to the heavy conditions.
“We also have some great learning moments to come out of the match, including conceding our first goal throughout the entire qualification process. We will continue to work on improving on all aspects, particularly being more clinical in front of goals. I thought we wasted another dozen or so really good opportunities to score and in tournament football, goal average can be very telling.