Captain Sunny Franco's second half hattrick helped Australia defeated Bahrain 8 - 0 in their opening match of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship at the Jiangning Sports Centre.

In a match that Australia dominated from the first whistle to the final, Franco, Rhianna Pollicina, Madeline Stockdale, Jessica Pitts, Afrikah McGladrigan and Alex Chidiac all got in on the action.

After a cautious start the U17s soon settled into their rhythm with early chances saved by Bahraini goalkeeper but on 19 minutes Rhianna Pollicina pounced onto a loose ball 10 yards out and struck low to the far post for the opening goal.

Minutes later an intricately worked corner saw Jessica Waterhouse's cross turn home at the near post by central defender Madeline Stockdale to double the lead with her first goal for Australia.  Two minutes later Jessica Pitts added a third with the pick of the goals when she sweetly timed her strike from 20 yards out.

After conceding three goals in five minutes, Bahrain were able to stem the flow until 10 minutes before the half time whistle when winger McGladrigan added a fourth through a well executed volley to give the Australians a 4 - 0 lead at the break.

On the restart the Australians continued to dominate proceedings but their next goal did not come until the 64th minute when substitute Franco, with her first touches of the match, latched onto an errant goal kick before rounding the keeper to slot home at the far post.

10 minutes late the newly signed Brisbane Roar striker had her second when she was played into space by fellow substitute Alex Chidiac, before again striking home at the far post from 12 yards out.

Chidiac then joined in the action in the 83rd minute with the 14 year old South Australian finished off some neat left wing build up play with a clinical finish.  Five minutes from time Frano netted her hattrick and finished off the Australian display with a free header from 6 yards out.

“Everything went well today as I expected,” Australia coach Belinda Wilson said. “Though we struggled in the beginning, our girls quickly came back where they were supposed to be.

“I am happy with the result today since we needed the three points. Next match against China will also be the same. We will fight for the three points and I think we have quality to do so.”

Australia is currently second in Group A and faces a must win match against group leaders China on Monday, 30 September.  Kick off is 6.30pm (AEST).

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Australia  8 (Pollicina 19', Stockdale 22', Pitts 24', McGladrigan 35', Franco 64'/74'/85', Chidiac 83')

Bahrain    0

U17s Line Up: Georgina Worth (GK), Chloe O'Brien, Afrikah McGladrigan, Tia Gavin (Sunny Franco 62'), Jessica Waterhouse (Isobel Dalton 62'), Emily Henderson, Madeline Stockdale, Beatrice Goad, Rhianna Pollicina (Alex Chidiac 70'), Victoria Guzman, Jessica Pitts