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On 11 April 2001, the Australian and American Samoa national association football teams played each other in a qualifying match for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The match was played at the International Sports Stadium in Coffs Harbour, Australia. Australia set a world record for the largest victory in an international football match, winning the game 31–0. Australia’s Archie Thompson also broke the record for most goals scored by a player in an international match by scoring 13 goals. David Zdrilic, the scorer of eight goals in the match, achieved the second highest number of goals in an international match since World War I.
The outcome of the match led to debates about the format of qualification tournaments, with the Australian manager Frank Farina and Thompson feeling that preliminary rounds should be introduced to avoid such unbalanced matches, views shared by the international footballing body FIFA. It eventually led to the introduction of a preliminary round in the Oceanian zone qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The unbalanced level of opponents also partly contributed to Australia’s move to the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.
2 Match summary
4 Match reactions
6 See also
8 External links
Further information: 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)
The first attempt from Oceanian teams to qualify for the FIFA World Cup came with the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In subsequent tournaments they entered joint qualification competitions with the Asian zone, until a separate qualification round for the Oceania Football Confederation was introduced in 1986. By the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification tournament, this had grown to a competition with ten teams entering. The ten teams were divided into two groups of five teams, where each team played against cs after receiving the official report from the referee and match officials, which confirmed the 31–0 scoreline and Thompson’s 13 goals.
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