Alex Brosque snatched Australia a 2-1 win over Thailand in their 2010 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifier in Brisbane today. The Socceroos trailed to a shock 15th-minute strike, but after Josh Kennedy equalised, the substitute sealed victory in their Group D opener in the 86th minute.
"It feels like a loss," admitted Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer post-match. "It was one of our worst performances for a long time and there are no excuses. We weren't good enough at times, but at least we won which is the positive."
The Aussie monopolised the ball in the early exchanges before a wayward pass by Neil Kilkenny gave the Thais the chance to launch a lightning counter-attack. Jakkraphan Kewprom delivered a quality cross, which eluded Lucas Neill and travelled into the path of Teerasil, who beat Schwarzer with a neat finish for his 18th international goal.
A rattled Australia searched hard for a response. Brett Holman twice came close, while Tim Cahill blasted over the bar before forcing goalkeeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool into a diving save. Concerned coach Holger Osieck used an injury break to talk tactics with skipper Neill, while Schwarzer walked to the centre circle to make some forcible points to his midfield.
Australia's anxieties eased when Kennedy equalised in the 58th minute, after Matt McKay's shot rebounded off Sinthaweechai into the path of the Nagoya Grampus striker, who tapped home.
Cahill had a goal disallowed four minutes later when he fouled the keeper while jumping for Luke Wilkshire's corner. The Australian star player was brought off in the 71st minute for Germany-based Robbie Kruse as the Socceroos desperately chased a winner.
Shimizu S-Pulse striker Brosque was only on the field for seven minutes after coming on for Brett Emerton when he popped up with the winning goal four minutes from the end. McKay's cross found Kennedy, who neatly chested down for Brosque to beat the heroic Sinthaweechai, much to the relief of the home side.
Australia take on Saudi Arabia in their second FIFA World Cup qualifier in Dammam on Tuesday, while Thailand host Oman in Bangkok.