Tim Cahill's Socceroos bounced back from conceding an early goal to record a resounding win in their opening game of the 2015 Asian Cup.
In the 8th minute, Kuwait, ostensibly the weakest team in Australia's group, surprised the tournament hosts with a corner routine that involved skipping the ball in low on the bounce toward the near post. Ali Hussain Fadhel got in front of Cahill to knock a stooping header past goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Cahill made amends in the 33rd minute, bagging the equalizer off a simple Massimo Luongo cut-back to the center of the penalty area. Just before half-time, Luongo nabbed a goal of his own: heading home the go-ahead strike off a cross from Ivan Franjic that had appeared destined for Cahill.
Once they got going, it was an encouraging performance from Australia's attacking unit. Captain Mile Jedinak scored from the penalty spot after Robbie Kruse was brought down in the area. A Mathew Leckie dribble into the box saw the ball squirt loose for James Troisi to tally Australia's fourth in injury time.
Kuwait had its moments, and the Socceroos now face greater tests from the presumed stronger teams in their group.
But a winning start will have settled nerves.
Cahill's strike stretches his Australian scoring record to 37 goals. He was substituted in the 65th minute, shortly after the Socceroos took a two-goal lead, in keeping with the anticipated policy of limiting the 35-year-old's minutes to keep him fresh throughout the tournament.
Next up for Australia: Oman on January 13.