The Western Sydney Wanderers earned their first ever win in the AFC Champions League and moved up to second place on the Group H ladder with a 1-0 away win against Guizhou Renhe on Wednesday night.
Eyebrows were raised at the starting line-up with eight changes from the team that took the field in the Derby last weekend but the Wanderers had the last laugh when Mark Bridge-s goal spearheaded the victory against the Chinese Super League side.
Similar to the Wanderers opening Champions League fixture, the Red and Black started brightly when Daniel Mullen headed Shannon Cole-s corner towards goal.
While the initial shot was saved, Guizhou-s keeper could only parry the ball and Mark Bridge reacted quickly to poke the ball into the back of the net.
The celebrations had barely ceased when the Wanderers could very easily have been two goals to the good.
Cole's cross was expertly put into the net by Labinot Haliti but the goal was chalked off by the officials for offside in what appeared to be a very tight call.
The remainder of the second half was controlled by the Wanderers with Jason Trifiro featuring heavily in a dominant midfield display.
Guizhou came out in the second half looking to attack but struggled to make any headway with the Wanderers defence holding strong.
A steely determination to win coupled with some experienced players entering the pitch meant that although the score line remained at 1-0 the Red and Black were rarely troubled.
The match came close to being sealed late in the half when Guizhou-s keeper let a ball fly over his head and into the path of a sliding Cole but the ball trickled agonisingly wide of the far post.
It mattered little though as the Wanderers cruised to victory to set-up a tantalising battle against Kawasaki Frontale at Parramatta Stadium on Wednesday 19 March.
Guizhou Renhe 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Mark Bridge 10')
GUIZHOU RENHE: 12. Zhang LIE (GK), 2. Zhang CHENGLIN, 4. Jonas SALLEY, 8. Li CHUNYU (39. Chen ZIHIE), 15. Chen JIE (6. Fan YUNLONG), 17. Sun JIHAI (C), 21. Yu HAI, 23. Tsan-Yuan CHEN, 27. Qu BO, 29. Yang HAO, 31. Rao WEIHUI (10. Zvjezdan MISIMOVIC)
Unused Substitutes: 22. Sheng PENG (GK), 14. Yang YIHU, 33. Guo SHENG, 35. Wan HOULIANG
Yellow Cards: n/a
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: 20. Jerrad TYSON (GK), 2. Shannon COLE, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP (C). 7. Labinot HALITI, 14. Kwabena APPIAH (17.Youssouf HERSI), 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Dean HEFFERNAN, 23. Jason TRIFIRO (10. Aaron MOOY), 33. Daniel MULLEN (6. Jerome POLENZ), 35. Antony GOLEC
Unused Substitutes: 30. Thomas MANOS (GK), 26: Jaushua SOTIRIO, 31. Alusine FOFANAH, 32. Daniel ALESSI
Yellow Cards: Antony Golec (72'), Dean Heffernan (75')