Rest of Asia Australia

April 11, 2001: When Australia Beat American Samoa and Scored 31 Goals

Before Australia joined with Asia or AFC, they were really powerful in Oceania region. Their biggest rival was only New Zealand and Socceroos still hold their record against them. Australia was very dominant in Oceania and one of the examples is when they beat American Samoa and scored 31 goals in 2001.

April 11, 2001, Australia met with American Samoa in 2002 World Cup Qualification in Oceania region. In the first match, Socceroos already won from Tonga with 22-0. Everyone believed that Australia, which managed by Frank Farina back then, would win big, but there was no one that could predict that they would score more than 30 goals when they faced American Samoa.

For the match that was played at Coffs Harbour International Stadium, New South Wales, Frank Farina played the team’s second layer. He did not call up star players like Mark Schwarzer, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and John Aloisi. He called up two talented young players at that time, David Zrilic and Archie Thompson.

Archie scored 13 goals where Zrilic scored eight goals. The rest was scored by Con Botsianis who scored three goals, two goals from Tony Popovic, Aurelio Vidmar, and Simon Colosimo. Fausto D’Amicis scored one goal to complete their big win.

Why American Samoa got thrashed by Australia? First, they could not play their best players because of passport issues. They could only field one player of their senior team, Nicky Salapu. Second, they also could not play their U-20 team because of the school exam. And so, they called up player age 15 to 18 who did not have many experiences.

That match is recorded as the biggest scored ever in World Cup Qualification.