Brosque spares Aussie blushes

South Korea also win after Arsenal new-boy Park grabs hat-trick

Brosque (c): Congratulated on Australian winner

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Australia had to come from behind to beat Thailand 2-1 and get their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a winning start.

Thailand, ranked almost 100 places below Australia, took a 14th-minute lead in Brisbane but Josh Kennedy drew the hosts level before substitute Alex Brosque claimed an 86th-minute winner.

The visitors took the lead as they launched a counter-attack following a wayward pass by Bristol City midfielder Neil Kilkenny, and Teerasil Dangda turned Jakkraphan Kewprom's cross beyond Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Brett Holman twice went close while Everton's Tim Cahill fired over before being denied by visiting keeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool.

The Socceroos breathed a sigh of relief when Nagoya Grampus striker Kennedy converted the rebound after Matt McKay's 58th-minute shot was saved.

Cahill had a goal disallowed for a foul on the keeper before Brosque came off the bench for Brett Emerton in the 79th minute.

And Brosque made a match-winning impact, Kennedy chesting McKay's cross down for the Shimizu S-Pulse striker to spare the home side's blushes.

Australia now travel to face Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for their next Group C clash while Thailand host Oman in Bangkok.

Park treble

South Korea had no such worries in Group B as they opened with a 6-0 home win against Lebanon.

New Arsenal striker Park Chu-young scored a hat-trick while Sunderland new-boy Ji Dong-won bagged a brace.

Ji also hit a post while Kim Jung-woo was the other goalscorer for the hosts.