Matildas maul Thailand in Tokyo qualifier

Callum Godde
An Emily van Egmond (C) hat-trick led the Matildas to a 6-0 Olympic qualifying win over Thailand

Ante Milicic says a move back to her preferred position has reinvigorated Emily van Egmond after a hat-trick from the Matildas mainstay fired Australia into the final stage of Olympic qualification.

Last Friday's assist queen turned goalscorer at Sydney's Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Monday night as the Matildas mauled Thailand 6-0 in their group qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

With Chelsea superstar Sam Kerr again limited to a bench cameo, Van Egmond broke the deadlock with a quick-fire double just before halftime before adding a third in the 70th minute.

Coach Milicic was wrapped for the Melbourne City and Orlando Pride midfielder after notching three assists in their previous win over Taiwan.

"She's a No.10 and that's why we're trying everything we can to keep her there," he said.

"She's got goals in her game. She's got assists. She's intelligent.

"(I'm) really delighted with how she's going and she really deserved that hat-trick tonight."

The victory sets up a blockbuster clash with unbeaten China at Parramatta on Thursday night, with the winner topping group B.

Despite sitting above the Steel Roses on goal difference, Milicic insists he wouldn't be satisfied with a draw.

"If we're going to be a serious team, we've got to win three games from three," he said.

"Nothing changes for us with the scenario. We'll play the same way. There's no buffer."

Although already out of contention for a top-two finish, the Chaba Kaew frustrated Australia in the first half as they had in the 2018 Asian Cup semi-final before losing in a shootout.

Speedy fullback Ellie Carpenter ran rampant down the right but both last start hat-trick hero Caitlin Foord and Van Egmond couldn't capitalise on early chances.

Forward Kyah Simon came closest to breaking the deadlock just on the half-hour mark before Van Egmond tucked away two sublime crosses from Carpenter.

Milicic was unfazed by the Matildas' lack of potency in front of goal, but warned it would come back to bite them eventually if unresolved.

"I'm just pleased that we're creating clear cut chances," Milicic said.

"Tonight they weren't half-chances. It could have easily been a lot more.

"(I'm) not concerned at this stage but of course there's an understanding you don't get those chances against the better teams."

After introducing Kerr and Hayley Raso following a limp start to the second half, the Matildas stepped on Thailand's jugular in a mere five minutes.

The double change worked a treat as Simon scored and Van Egmond followed suit before Raso tucked away Kerr's low cross into the top right corner.

Simon completed her double to round out the rout as Australia booked a home-and-away playoff to clinch a berth in Japan.