The Socceroos made it six from six in the Asian Qualifiers with a dominant victory over Chinese Taipei.
As expected, Graham Arnold named a much changed starting line up to take on the Group B strugglers, who remain winless in their quest for qualification.
The Socceroos came flying out of the blocks, debutant Denis Genreau and Kenny Dougall both enjoying decent chances, while Brandon Borrello had a strong chance of a penalty, all within the opening ten minutes. However, it was towering centre half Harry Souttar that opened the scoring, powering home a Riley McGree corner in the 11th minute.
Chinese Taipei nearly struck back, a mazy run and some fantastic footwork from the wonderfully named Emilio Estevez forcing a superb save from Vukovic.
Jamie Maclaren doubled the Socceroos lead from the penalty spot before the half hour mark, having been hacked down inside the area by Chen Wei-chuan. The A-League Golden Boot winner nearly set up a third just moments later, only for Borrello to clatter his shot off the woodwork.
Not to be outdone by his defensive partner, Trent Sainsbury added Australia’s third to send the side in to the sheds with a comfortable lead.
Mitch Duke made it four less than a minute in to the second half, heading home a Borrello cross from point blank range.
With an hour on the clock, Chinese Taipei managed to pull one back, veteran stopper Danny Vukovic diving in vein as Wei-Jie Gao shot sailed past the free agent .
However, this was to prove a mere consolation effort for the Group B basement dwellers, with Mitch Duke adding a fifth and final goal in the 84th minute.
The opposition defence struggled to cope with the aerial presence of the Socceroos, conceding three headed efforts.
Chinese Taipei had no answer for Riley McGree’s set piece delivery, the Birmingham City midfielder’s corners finding the towering Harry Souttar and captain Trent Sainsbury, etching both centre backs names on the score sheet.
Mitch Duke was also able to outwit the defence far too easily, ghosting in to the box to nod home a Borrello cross from close range just seconds after the break.
Graham Arnold once again handed out a trio of debuts, with Macarthur’s Denis Genreau, Melbourne City’s Connor Metcalfe and Mariners defender Ruon Tongyik all making their first appearances in the Green and Gold.
Genreau became Socceroo #609 as he was named in the starting eleven, and put in a strong performance, having a number of attempts on goal before playing a pivotal role in Mitch Duke’s second half effort, unleasing Borrello on the wing with a pin-point pass.
Socceroos fans will certainly be hoping to see more of Macarthur’s Parisian born playmaker in the next few games.
World Cup Qualifiers
Australia 5 (Souttar 11m, Maclaren 27m, Sainsbury 41m, Duke 46m, 84m) 1 Chinese Taipei (Wei-Jei Gao, 61m)
Referee: Saoud Al-Abda
18. Danny Vukovic, 4. Rhyan Grant, 23. Curtis Good, 19. Harry Souttar, 20. Trent Sainsbury, 13. Kenny Dougall (Connor Metcalfe, 63m), 14. Brandon Borrello (Chris Ikonomidis, 64m), 5. Denis Genreau (Ruon Tongyik, 86m) 15. Mitch Duke, 21. Riley McGree (Ajden Hrustic, 74m), 9. Jamie Maclaren (Nikita Rukavytsya, 74m)
Unused Subs: 12. Andrew Redmayne, 1. Lawrence Thomas, 16. Aziz Behich, 3. Fran Karacic, 22. Jackson Irvine, 6. Martin Boyle, 7. Mathew Leckie,
Head Coach: Graham Arnold
Chinese Taipei 4-2-3-1
23. Shih Shin-An, 20. Pai Shao-Yu, 3. Chen Ting-Yang, 6. Chen Wei-chuan, 22. Chen Jui-Chieh (Liang Meng-Hsin, 80m), 16. Yoshitaka Komori (Tu Shao-chieh, 47m), 8. Emilio Estevez (Lin Ming-Wei 67m), 5. Cheng Hao, 15. Gao Wei-Jei (Li Mao, 67m), 11. Wu Chun-Ching (Hsu Heng-Pin, 80m), 14. Chen Chao-an
Unused Subs: 1. Pan Wen-chie, 21. Hsieh Peng-Lung, 2. Wang Ruei, 10. Hsu Yi, 13. Lin Chang-Lun, 12. Tsai Meng-Cheng, 18. Hsuan Tuan
Head Coach: Ca-Nhum Von
Yellow cards: Chen Wei-Chuan