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When Australia set an international football scoring record

April 12, 2017

This day in football history

The game got so out of hand that the scorekeepers couldn’t even keep an accurate count

On 11 April 2001, Australia set an international football record, beating American Samoa 31–0.

The match occurred during the Oceania Football Confederation qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup, which set the two teams on a crash course for an historic result. Australia beat Tonga 0–22 in their opening match, while American Samoa lost their first game 13–0 to Fiji (followed by an 8–0 loss to Samoa).

They met at the International Sports Stadium in Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, playing before a crowd of 3,000. It took only 10 minutes for Australia to take the lead, courtesy of midfielder Con Boutsianis, who went on to complete a hat trick with goals in the 50th and 84th minutes. But the star of the day was forward Archie Thompson, who, in just his third national team appearance, scored 13 times (12′, 23′, 27′, 29′, 33′, 37′, 42′, 45′, 56′, 60′, 65′, 85′, 88′).

Forward David Zdrilic wasn’t far behind with eight (13′, 21′, 25′, 33′, 58′, 66′, 78′, 89′), while Australia’s remaining goals were provided by Aurelio Vidmar (14′, 80′), Tony Popovic (17′, 19′), Simon Colosimo (51′, 81′), and Fausto De Amicis (55′).

The match set the record margin for an international game, but is far behind the overall record of 149–0 set in a Madagascar league match between AS Adema and S.O. l’Emyrne in 2002.



Brian Seal


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