2022 World Cup Qualifying - AFC, Round Two
  • Jamie Maclaren (6', 19', 90')
  • Harry Souttar (23')
  • Dinesh Rajbanshi (59' OG)

Jamie Maclaren hits hat trick as Socceroos thrash Nepal

The Socceroos attack is starting to click under coach Graham Arnold after they thrashed Nepal 5-0.

Australia had all the possession and territory, creating countless chances but struggled to finish against the team ranked 161 in the world.

The Socceroos were never challenged and dominated from start to finish against the Group B minnows as Jamie Maclaren scored his first international hat trick.

Maclaren had scored just one goal in 13 appearances leading into the game but showed his class in front of 18,563 fans in Canberra.

Australia opened the scoring with a set-piece move on six minutes when Aaron Mooy found Craig Goodwin and his low drive couldn't be contained before Maclaren fired in the blocked shot.

The second goal arrived when Aziz Behich crossed for Ryhan Grant who headed back across the face of goal and Maclaren to score from point-blank range on 19 minutes.

Stoke City's Harry Souttar, on loan at Fleetwood Town, then made it three as he scored on debut after heading in a well-hit Goodwin corner.

It should have been 4-0 on the stroke of half-time when Mathew Leckie scored with a deflected goal that was incorrectly ruled offside by the linesman.

Goodwin looked certain to score his first international goal in the second half but his back-post header was denied sharply by goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong.

Souttar celebrated a brace when he headed home on 59 minutes but the shot took a deflection and it officially went down as an own goal to Dinesh Rajbanshi.

Maclaren completed his hat trick in the 90th minute after collecting the ball from Irvine's chest inside the box and finishing sharply.

The Socceroos have begun their road to Qatar 2022 with two strong wins and now face Taiwan away on Tuesday.