Hosts Australia came from behind against Kuwait to win 4-1 in the first match of the 2015 Asian Cup at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, which followed a glamorous Opening Ceremony showcasing local culture.
The Socceroos quartet of Tim Cahill, Massimo Luongo, Mile Jedinak and James Troisi got their names on the scoresheet to cancel out Hussain Fadhel's early opener for Kuwait and take all three points from the Group A encounter.
Luongo provided an assist for Cahill before scoring his first international goal to put Ange Postecoglou's side 2-1 in front at half-time.
Jedinak scored from the penalty spot after Sultan Al Enzi was adjudged to have upended Robbie Kruse in the area, with Troisi wrapping up the victory in stoppage time.
"The match was difficult as we expected," Kuwait coach Nabil Maâloul told the Asian Cup's official website.
"Australia are very strong and better than our team physically, and with their speed, they are faster than our team.
"They deserved to win this match."
The Tunisian, appointed just last month, added: "The physical fitness of the Australia team helped stop our team, especially our forwards.
"We asked our players to press Australia in the second half, but the third goal which was scored from a penalty made our players go back and affected our performance negatively."
Australian DJ Havana Brown and indie pop band Sheppard entertained the sold-out crowd as part of the 11-minute Opening Ceremony, which also featured 200 junior performers.
Tomorrow's action sees South Korea face Oman in Group A, while in Group B, Uzbekistan meet North Korea and Saudi Arabia go up against China.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2015: First-ever AFC Asian Cup outside continent to begin in Australia
November 2014: AFC Asian Cup Trophy to tour Australian host cities next month
November 2014: Australian fans urged to adopt a second team ahead of 2015 AFC Asian Cup
July 2014: Continental becomes 2015 Asian Cup sponsor amid rumours of end of World Cup partnership
June 2014: Consortium involved in Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony to produce 2015 Asian Cup opener