Brisbane Roar boss John Aloisi paid tribute to his team’s desire after the Hyundai A-League club confounded many pundits by defeating Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 in China to qualify for the ACL group stage overnight.
In chilly conditions, in-form Brandon Borrello and Caltex Socceroo Tommy Oar struck in the first half to lay the platform for the win in the ACL qualifier at Shanghai's Hongkou Stadium.
Gus Poyet’s Shanghai, with Carlos Tevez and Obafemi Martins up front, were booed off at half time and despite huffing and puffing, could not find a way past Jamie Young in the Brisbane goal.
"Since I've been up been here, that's probably been the biggest win - especially because a lot of people really didn't give us a chance of beating them," Aloisi told Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) of AAP after the game.
"But we showed we're not only a good footballing team but we can also fight when we have to and defend.”
After defeating Global FC last week, Roar now have qualified for Group E, where they’ll play K-League team Ulsan Hyundai, Thailand's Muangthong United and J-League outfit Kashima Antlers.
Ironically, Roar striker Dimi Petratos confirmed his transfer to Ulsan just prior to the clash in Shanghai and is now set to meet his former teammates.
Roar winger Tommy Oar was key to the win with a goal and an assist.
"Because of the conditions in Brisbane we're very fit so when we come and play in the cold we can run a lot more,” he told reporters after the game.
“That was a big advantage for us today."
The win was greeted with delight with many on social media including Australian players in Asia. And Tevez's losing start to his Chinese career garnered plenty of interest globally.
"People shouldn't underestimate the culture we've got at Brisbane Roar,” Aloisi added.
"We've shown that time and time again. It was a brilliant result - a tough game, but bloody hell, it was an unbelievable atmosphere, and a really good performance.
"We know it's going to be difficult, we know we've got another big couple of months coming up, but this is the position we wanted to be in."
Brisbane now fly to Melbourne to face City on Saturday in another huge clash with top-four implications in the Hyundai A-League.
In injury news, full back Jack Hingert rolled his ankle against Shanghai and is unlikely to play at AAMI Park on Saturday.