Cook Islands 0 - Australia 17

AUSTRALIA has crushed the COOK ISLANDS 17-nil, in its opening round match of the Oceania Nations Soccer Cup, being played in Tahiti.

It took the LG Socceroos almost 20 minutes and a few missed chances to finally get on the board, but striker PAUL AGOSTINOs goal in the 18th minute heralded his personal hat-trick, while the man who delivered the corner, CRAIG FOSTER, went on to bag four of his own.

FOSTER was everywhere in the first half, and after setting up the opening goal, delivered a free-kick in the 21st minute which was laid off to defender KEVIN MUSCAT, who rocketed his shot past the keeper for 2-0.

Three minutes later, midfielder DANNY TIATTO added his name to the scoring list with a powerful left footer, while FOSTER finally made the scoreboard himself in the 30th minute.

The midfielder had a hand in Australias fifth goal, crossing the ball into striker DAVID ZDRILIC who netted for 5-0 and then scored his second in the 42nd for 6-0.

Australia was then awarded a penalty in time added on when BRETT EMERTON was brought down in the box, MUSCAT slotting the ball home for his second of the evening, and putting the LG Socceroos up 7-0 at half-time.

The break didnt stop Australias momentum, with FOSTER bagging his hat-trick six minutes into the second half to put the LG Socceroos up by eight.

AGOSTINO bagged his second just two minutes later for 9-0, while defender TONY POPOVIC scored his first goal for Australia from a header in the 59th minute, to put the LG Socceroos into double figures.

ZDRILIC scored his second of the night in the 65th AGOSTINO bagged his hat-trick three minutes later, while second half substitute STEVE CORICA also got in on the act, breaking down the right and beating the keeper for 13-0 in the 70th minute.

FOSTER claimed goal number four just ten minutes later after a lay-off from substitute CLAYTON ZANE, who then went on to claim his stake in the game, scoring three goals in 7 minutes to put away his first goals for the senior team, and finish proceedings.

written by Soccer Australia