At the end of the most one-sided World Cup qualifier in football history, even the technician was overwhelmed with counting the goals.
At the end of the most one-sided World Cup qualifier in football history, even the technician who operated the scoreboard was overwhelmed with counting the goals. Not 32: 0, but “only” 31: 0 (16: 0) the national team of Australia had defeated the team from American Samoa on April 11, 2001, referee Ronan Leaustic had to correct the final result.
None of the 3,000 spectators in Coffs Harbor had expected a duel on equal terms, but a chain of unfortunate circumstances turned the unequal game into a farce. Due to visa problems of his teammates, visiting goalkeeper Nicky Salapu was the only regular player on the pitch, the U20 team was not available as a substitute due to school exams.
And so the U-18 selection had to be outclassed in an unprecedented way. Archie Thompson scored 13 of the 31 goals, which of course was a new record in an international game. The striker wasn’t really happy with that: “Nobody needs games like this.”
Such a dubious game will in fact not be repeated. Australia moved from the Football Association of Oceania to the Asian Federation in 2006 and has been playing its World Cup qualifiers there since then. And since then has regularly qualified for the World Cup finals.