Ruthless Socceroos put seven past Chinese Taipei

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Adam Taggart and Jackson Irvine hit first-half braces before Harry Souttar notched a headed double as Australia cruised to a 7-1 win over Chinese Taipei in FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Graham Arnold's men eased to a five-goal victory over Nepal on home soil last week and went one better despite a largely sluggish second half in Tuesday's low-key clash in Kaohsiung.

There was a moment to savour for the world's 129th-ranked nation courtesy of Chen Yi-wei's expert header in between the quickfire strikes from Taggart and Irvine.

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The result was never in doubt, though, and Souttar made sure of a valuable boost to the Socceroos' goal difference, the defender improving his international haul to three in two games either side of a neat finish from substitute Jamie Maclaren.

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Suwon Bluewings striker Taggart ended a six-year interlude between international goals when he stooped to nod in Rhyan Grant's cross in the 12th minute.

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He doubled the margin following a neat move involving Brad Smith and Awer Mabil in the 19th minute but the home side's spirits were lifted a mere 108 seconds later.

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Chen Ting-yang delivered from the right and Chen Yi-wei planted a bullet header past Mat Ryan.

The celebrations were short-lived, though, as the visitors retook control through Irvine's two-minute double, the midfielder profiting first from a Grant knock-down and then Mabil's pinpoint cross.

Towering centre-back Souttar sparked the Socceroos into life amid a sleepy second period when he connected with a 73rd-minute free-kick from Ajdin Hrustic, who registered three assists in a lively cameo off the bench.

His second freed Maclaren in the box to make it six and another set-piece found Souttar two minutes from the end as the Group B leaders notched a third straight win in the second phase of Asian qualifying.

Source Omnisport