A hat-trick from Phoenix teenager fuels Young Matildas’ huge qualifying win

Claudia Cicco scored a hat-trick off the bench as the Liberty A-League’s emerging talent guided the Young Matildas to a landside victory over Guam in the country’s first 2024 AFC Under-20 Women’s Asian Cup Round 1 qualifier.

Wellington Phoenix teenager Cicco netted three goals in 30 minutes for Australia in their 13-0 demolition of Guam in Kyrgyz Republic.

The Liberty A-League was at the forefront of the first-up win, with eight players from the domestic competition on the scoresheet – Cicco, Emilia Murray, Shay Hollman, Kahli Johnson, Jynaya Dos Santos, Sasha Grove, Daniela Galic and Alana Murphy.

Adelaide United’s Murray opened the scoring in the fifth minute before Sydney FC attacker Hollman doubled the lead 12 minutes later at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium.

The Young Matildas showed no mercy as talented Western United forward Johnson, Hollman and Murray were on target, and an own goal from Samantha Kenney gave the Australians a 6-0 lead at half-time in Bishkek.

Cicco was among the half-time substitutes, along with Dos Santos, and the pair made an immediate impact.

Wellington’s Cicco bagged a quick-fire brace, in between a Dos Santos strike.

Canberra United midfielder Grove and Melbourne City sensation Galic joined the scoring action by the 79-minute mark before Melbourne Victory’s Murphy and Cicco completed the rout.

Next up for the Young Matildas are hosts Kyrgyz Republic on Saturday (AEDT), with the Group C winner progressing to the Round 2 of qualifying in June.

Image source: Football Australia