Seven heaven as Socceroos go on goalscoring spree
The Socceroos have taken their tally to 12 goals in five days, defeating Chinese Taipei by 7-1 in their third World Cup qualifying fixture on the road to Qatar 2022.
But just as with the 5-0 defeat of Nepal in Canberra on Thursday, an initial flurry of attacking from Australia petered out beyond the break once the contest was effectively over.
On the plus side, Adam Taggart scored two - six years after his brace against the same opponents in the East Asia Cup - and Jackson Irvine also registered twice on the scoreboard.
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Big defender Harry Souttar scored two more after his goalscoring debut versus Nepal, but lapses in concentration were an alarming sight in the Australian defence against such a weak opponent.
Chinese Taipei punished them once and could have had more, despite the Socceroos' physical advantage in their own back four. Yi-wei Chen's powerful header came after sloppiness in the Australian rearguard, something that won't go unnoticed by Graham Arnold.
Still, seven goals is a handsome return and the result cements Australia's place at the top of their group in this first phase of World Cup qualifying, one they are expected to navigate with some ease before stiffer tests lie ahead in the second phase.
Taggart's confidence from scoring 16 goals this season in Korea was underlined by two close-range finishes, the first a deft header from Rhyan Grant's searching cross.
Irvine's two goals were also from close in, and also created by effective delivery from the flanks. With Awer Mabil and Brandon Borrello darting around either side of Taggart there was a menace to the Australian attacks in the first half.
But just as against Nepal, the opposing defence stiffened up once halftime came and went, and the flow of chances decreased to a trickle, until Souttar thumped in two second-half headers for the fifth and seventh.
The substitute Jamie Maclaren had added a sixth, latching onto a clever pass from Ajden Hrustic to lash in his fourth goal in a week.
International football suddenly feels a more comfortable place for the Melbourne City striker.
Coach GrahamArnold admitted there were structural aspects that would need work before the Socceroos face their main rivals Jordan.
"I was pretty happy with the performances but at times we were sloppy defensively," he said.
"I felt there was an improvement on the Nepal game that we were more ruthless in front of goal."
AUSTRALIA 7 (Adam Taggart 12m, 19m, Jackson Irvine 34m, 36m, Harry Souttar 73m, 88m, Jamie Maclaren 84m) CHINESE TAIPEI 1 (Yi-wei Chen 21m) at National Stadium Kaohsiung.