Archie Thompson in hat-trick form against Guam. Photo: Getty Images
SOCCEROO striker Archie Thompson is on course to make history when Australia takes on Taiwan on Sunday as he bids to become Australia's highest goal scorer.
Australia routed minnow Guam 9-0 on Friday with Thompson scoring one of the fastest hat-tricks by a substitute in international soccer, plundering three goals in just five minutes.
The Socceroos were already 4-0 up when Thompson replaced Eli Babalj in the 57th minute and his scoring spree left him just one goal away from equalling Damian Mori's record of 29 goals for the Socceroos.
The 34-year-old is likely to surpass it against the 176-ranked Taiwan.
But the Melbourne Victory striker said he was just happy to have delivered the goal haul needed to keep alive Australia's hopes of qualifying for the 2013 East Asian Cup.
''I don't even take all that much notice of it really,'' Thompson said.
''To be honest, I just really want us to qualify for the tournament next year, that's my main focus.
''When you're playing against that kind of opposition and scoring goals as we are it's hard to take those accolades.
''I'm happy to have scored the goals but the main thing was that we made up the goals that we needed to,'' Thompson said.
Coach Holger Osieck stuck to his plan of playing more rookies and the same can be expected on Sunday.
Aaron Mooy and Michael Marrone both netted in the big win over the world No. 181 on Friday night - the first time in 32 years that two Australians have scored on international debuts in the same match.
Red Star Belgrade striker Babalj, in only his second Socceroos game, also found the back of the net in both halves and goals from Mark Milligan and Richard Garcia rounding out the scoring.
''We easily could have scored a lot more goals but it's good that it didn't happen because I felt sorry in a way for the other team and it's bad when you get a two-digit score against them,'' Osieck said.
''I took the opportunity tonight to give the young players a run. And, yes, they tried hard and they tried to impress but, it was the experienced players also [who] scored the goals.
''There's still a bit of a gap between talent and experience but, all in all, it was an easy victory.''
Qualification will come down to the final matches with Australia now equal with North Korea's goal difference of plus-10. The Koreans play their final match on Sunday against Hong Kong.
With North Korea to play the early match, the Socceroos will know before they step onto the pitch exactly what is required to secure their berth in next year's showpiece.
''The Korean team is a very good side so we're expecting that they'll win,'' Thompson said. ''Whether it's comfortably, we'll have to wait and see.
''The fortunate thing for us is that we get to see them play earlier and see what situation we're at and take it from there.''
Guam's English coach Garry White praised his players' courage despite the fact they were comprehensively beaten.
''It was a tough game for us but I really can't fault the players' desire,'' he said.
''The Australians came out from the beginning needing to get goals so it was probably the hardest they were going to play in this tournament.
''We just happened to be on the end of it,'' White said.