The standouts tonight were Emily van Egmond, Aivi Luik and Kyah Simon and that's important. These are three of the most experienced players - whether in club football or national caps - in the Matildas squad but they're also three who have faced significant challenges throughout their career.

To start with hat-trick hero van Egmond, the Aussie midfielder has had a difficult couple of years at both W-League and national level.

Her form has been criticised at times, Newcastle Jets had been a rollercoaster club, and without ever truly dipping out of the national team, she had begun to lose her role as a bona fide Matildas star to what we know as the current WSL generation.

But she is so important to this team when she's in form. Powerful, athletic, extremely confident, technically skilled and with a wickedly powerful shot, she has every attribute so desired in the female game.

She has football running through her blood and there's no doubt that if she keeps up this vein of form, she'll be starring in Europe with the best of them. The last two Matildas matches have been her statement. Van Egmond is back.

We spoke about Simon after Chinese Taipei and her amazing comeback following the injury struggles she's faced, but the striker was equally demonstrative tonight. Suddenly she seems integral to the Matildas forward line, her experience so valuable, her ability to drop deep and command attacks nothing short of incredible.

Luik's addition was equally impressive. Only her 25th cap - in part due to an under the radar career largely spent traversing the world - the midfield maestro now offers a level of stability in that pivot that we normally receive from Elise Kellond-Knight.

But she also adds a phenomenally cool passing ability and she has the tactical knowledge to implement this style against varying set ups and approaches. She's a calming influence on the side and when we barely lost possession in that second half, Luik was key.