Kerr, Simon star as Westfield Matildas make it seven straight
Sam Kerr made national team history as the Westfield Matildas overpowered China PR 5-1 in Geelong to end a stellar 2017 with a seventh successive victory.
In their final match of a breakthrough year, Australia recovered from an early deficit - and a storm delay - to complete back-to-back victories in the two-match series.
Kerr's brace saw her become the first Australian woman to score in six straight internationals, while Kyah Simon's wonder strike and an own goal helped the hosts to a half-time lead.
Chloe Logarzo rounded out the scoring with her maiden international goal on another memorable day for Alen Stajcic's side.
And with this week's twin victories adding to historic recent wins over the likes of the United States, Japan and Brazil, the Westfield Matildas appeared primed for an assault on the 2018 AFC Asian Cup in Jordan.
STORY OF THE GAME
- The visitors took a shock lead when Ren Guixin applied the finish to Xu Yanlu's classy lead-up play.
- But the lead was quickly cancelled out by Simon's stunner from way outside the area.
- And the Westfield Matildas were ahead by 25 minutes, Caitlin Foord' incisive run forcing an own goal from Li Danyang.
- Kerr got in on the act eight minutes before the break after forcing a turnover in a dangerous area.
- That goal was immediately followed by a break in play due to gathering storm clouds around GMHBA Stadium.
- The contest eventually resumed and Lydia Williams did well to anticipate a near-post header from Ma Jun on the stroke of half-time.
- China PR started the second half with intent as Williams saved from both Yanlu and Guixin.
- But it was the hosts who stretched the lead through Kerr's header just prior to the hour.
- The margin soon widened to four with Logarzo getting on the end of a smart combination between Amy Harrison and Kerr.
- Han Peng seemed certain to pull one back, but Williams somehow pushed her close-range finish into the post to preserve Australia's four-goal victory.
Guixin, China PR 7': 0-1
Yanlu dribbled into space on the left, cut inside and saw her terrific ball in behind the defence helped into the bottom far corner by Guixin.
Simon, Australia 14': 1-1
From 30 yards out, Simon spotted Bi Xiaolin slightly off her line and thumped a spectacular strike inside the left upright.
Danyang OG, Australia 25': 2-1
Caitlin Foord reeled in Ellie Carpenter's throw and Li Danyang bundled the winger's by-line cutback into her own net.
Kerr, Australia 37': 3-1
Kerr robbed Xue Jiao on the edge of the area and drive a low finish through substitute goalkeeper Lu Fei Fe, who had replaced the injured Xiaolin.
Kerr, Australia 58': 4-1
The star forward bravely beat the 'keeper to Emily van Egmond's floated free-kick, nodding into a vacant net.
Logarzo, Australia 68': 5-1
Kerr's run was spotted by Harrison and the Perth Glory captain pulled a smart pass across the face for Logarzo to tuck away.