Sat, 02 Dec 2023

SYDNEY, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia kicked off its FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign on Thursday with a comfortable 7-0 win against Bangladesh at Melbourne's AAMI Park.

A header by Harry Souttar started the scoring for Australia in the fourth minute before his teammate Brandon Borrello doubled the lead in the 20th minute. A quick-fire brace, delivered by Mitchell Duke within four minutes, made it four on the scoreboard for the Socceroos.

In the second half, the 30-year-old forward Jamie Maclaren came off the bench and sent a home crowd of more than 20,000 people into rapture with his sensational hat-trick.

The 49th minute of the match saw Jordan Bos fire a low cross from the left to Maclaren, who tapped in from close range. The in-form striker bagged another in the 70th minute before he capitalized a cross from the right side and sealed Australia's convincing victory in the 84th minute.

For its following Group I fixture, Australia will square off against Palestine in Kuwait on Nov. 21.

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