Ex-Hibs star Jamie Maclaren nets hat-trick for Australia

Former Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren struck a treble for Australia in the Socceroos 5-0 victory over Nepal.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 4:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th October 2019, 5:08 pm

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He found the back of the net twice in the opening 20 minutes before getting his hands on the match ball with a third in injury-time.

"This is my proudest moment in a football jersey,” Maclaren, who left Easter Road for Melbourne City in January, said.

Former Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren celebrates after scoring for his country.

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“Representing my country in Canberra, scoring a hat-trick, as a striker it’s the best feeling.

“I owe a lot to my team-mates and the manager for putting faith in me. At times you question whether you’re good enough at this level and I feel I am. I believed through those tough years.”

Meanwhile, Harry Souttar crowned his Australia debut with a goal as the Socceroos defeated Nepal 5-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Canberra.

The 19-year-old centre-half, who is the brother of Hearts defender John Souttar and represented Scotland at under-19 level, headed home from a corner kick on 23 minutes to put the Australians 3-0 up.

Souttar had not set foot in Australia before travelling across the world for the match. Despite being born in Aberdeen, he qualifies for his new country due to his mother being Australian.

The towering centre-half - who is currently on loan at Fleetwood Town from Stoke City - impressed in an easy Australia victory, albeit against limited opposition, and his national coach is looking forward to seeing more from his new defender.

“He’s just such a great kid,” manager Graham Arnold said of Souttar. “Let’s see him against a bigger team and a better team defensive-wise because when I see him at Fleetwood Town he’s doing exceptionally well.

“There’s a little bit of competition there with him. He’s so calm on the ball and he’s so relaxed. He’s a great find for us.”

Australia continue their World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday when they play Chinese Taipei in Kaohsiung.