ITALY has given itself every chance of advancing to the knockout rounds of the Knox All-Nations Cup after a 7-0 win over Australia at Knox Regional Football Centre on Saturday.
Australia reached the final last year and had at least reached the quarter finals in recent years.
However, they were shell-shocked by an Italian team which is well placed to go through from group 1.
Goals from Anthony Colosimo, Arthur Papadopoulos and Sivestre Sonluc in the first half were followed in the second half by goals from Papadopoulos to seal his hat-trick, Peter Sawan and Marco Digregorio to give Italy a comfortable lead and every opportunity to advance.
The second weekend of the cup produced 29 goals as the teams started to sort themselves out ahead of the knockout rounds.
Group 3 produced the most interesting situation with all teams on three points heading into the final group match.
Albania, having beaten Somalia the previous week, needed a win against Mauritius to put it in the driving seat.
However, a tenacious Mauritius ran out winners through a Chris Driver goal in the 42nd minute and in the other group 3 game Somalia notched its first win in the competition beating Seychelles 4-3.
In group 4, Ireland beat Portugal 2-1 with a double from Mark Leech proving the difference and ending the Portugese challenge in this tournament.
The other group 4 game was played on Sunday, with Serbia beating France 3-2 after second-half goals from Bonel Obradovic and Milos Lujic.
France and Ireland face off this Sunday with the winner certain to go through to the knockout rounds.
Romania's 4-0 win over Peru in group 4 means the end for Peru's chances while Scotland looks well placed to make challenge for a second-straight title beating Chile 1-0 via a Wayne Gordon goal.
Chile attacked the Scottish goal for long periods but could not find a way to score.
Romania plays Chile this week to decide which team qualifies for the quarter-finals with both teams on three points.
Cyprus beat Bosnia 1-0 and will face Australia this Saturday an attempt to qualify for the knockout round with both sides promising a tough and entertaining battle.
The tournament continues at the Knox Regional Football Centre this Saturday and Sunday with matches starting at 11.30am each day.
Cyprus, Scotland and Serbia have already qualified for the next round.
For full results and tables to to knoxcityfc.com.au.