Football: Hosts Australia begin Asian Cup with resounding 4-1 win over Kuwait

Australia's Massimo Luongo (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Tim Cahill during their Asian Cup Group A soccer match against Kuwait at the Rectangular stadium in Melbourne on Jan 9, 2015. Hosts Australia showed impressive firepower to bea
Australia's Massimo Luongo (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Tim Cahill during their Asian Cup Group A soccer match against Kuwait at the Rectangular stadium in Melbourne on Jan 9, 2015. Hosts Australia showed impressive firepower to beat Kuwait 4-1 in their Asian Cup opener on Friday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Hosts Australia showed impressive firepower to beat Kuwait 4-1 in their Asian Cup opener on Friday.

After Tim Cahill equalised for Australia following an early setback of a Kuwait goal, Massimo Luongo, Mile Jedinak and James Troisi also found their target for the Socceroos, who could have scored six or seven and were serenaded with a chorus of "Oles" by a sell-out crowd of 30,000 in Melbourne.

Kuwait had stunned Australia with a goal from Hussain Fadhel after just eight minutes, the big defender stooping to head in a corner and silence the home fans. But Cahill relieved the tension on a wet and chilly evening by slamming home the equaliser in the 33rd minute after smart work down the right from Luongo.

Luongo put Australia in front moments before half-time with a superb header to give the home side a huge boost going into the break. Skipper Jedinak stroked home a penalty in the 62nd minute, giving the Socceroos a two-goal cushion as they continued to press, playing with a verve that was sorely missing as they managed just a single win in 11 matches last year.

Troisi poked home a fourth in stoppage time to cap a dominating performance by Ange Postecoglou's side.

Australia, runners-up to Japan four years ago, are also drawn alongside Oman and 2002 World Cup semi-finalists South Korea in Group A as they bid to win their first Asian Cup with a new-look side, after golden generation failed to win a major title.