Qualifiers - Group H: Fantastic starts for Australia, Korea Republic
Phnom Penh: Australia and Korea Republic got their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Qualifiers off to spectaculars start after beating Cambodia and Chinese Taipei respectively at the National Olympic Stadium on Friday.
AUSTRALIA 6-0 CAMBODIA
Four goals from four players in the first half laid the foundation for Australia's 6-0 win over Cambodia, in their bid to return to the Finals for a fourth consecutive time.
Aiden O'neill struck first in the 21st minute to give the Joeys the opening goal they were searching for and from there on, Joseph Champness and skipper Riley McGree made it 3-0 with goals in the 29 and 31st minutes respectively.
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Cambodia found it tough to break out from their defensive formation against an Australian side that continuously kept a high-pressing game to find their fourth goal through Brandon Wilson on 42 minutes.
Felix Agustin Dalmas' Cambodia returned from the break more composed but failed to reduce their deficit, before substitute Pierce Waring etched his name on the scoresheet in the 67th minute.
Champness had the last say in the match when he scored three minutes into added time to end their opening night on a high.
KOREA REPUBLIC 8-0 CHINESE TAIPEI
Korea Republic's dominance began as early as the 14th minute when Lee Dong-jun converted a spot-kick to open the scoring, before finding the back of the net again in the 33rd minute.
The 2018 semi-finalists tripled their lead before going into the break when Seo Gyeong-ju etched his name on the scoresheet in the 39th minute.
Chinese Taipei head coach Von Ca Nhum tried to reduce the deficit by bringing in Wang Chung-Yu and Tsou Yu-Chieh after the break, but Korea Republic continued their dominance to make it 5-0 with back-to-back goals from Lee Se-heon and Cho Young-wook in the 68th and 69th minutes respectively.
However, it was Lee Dong-gyeong who stole the show when he completed his hat-trick with three goals in the 72nd, 73rd and 85th minutes to seal an emphatic win over their East Asian rivals.
Chinese Taipei play Australia next, before Korea Republic take on Cambodia on Sunday.
Photos: Football Federation of Cambodia
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