Wanderers leapfrog Kawasaki with win
Western Sydney Wanderers player Shinji Ono (R) controls the ball against Japan's Kawasaki Frontale during their AFC Champions League football match in Sydney on March 19, 2014 - by William West
Labinot Haliti scored the winning goal in just the third minute and Wanderers held firm against the technically more efficient Kawasaki for their second win in Group H.
Haliti was on the spot to score after leadup work on the right from Kwabena Appiah-Kubi and Tommy Juric presented the scoring opportunity.
It was the third time in the ACL that Wanderers have scored an early goal and they kept a second clean sheet following their 1-0 win against China's Guizhou Renhe.
Kawasaki, who have yet to win in three J-League matches this season, moved the ball around cleverly but lacked a killer last touch in front of goal after dominating possession.
Jun Kanakubo fired a blistering volley that was palmed away by home goalkeeper Ante Covic only for Yu Kobayashi to volley the rebound wide of goal.
Kawasaki were stronger in the second half with the halftime introduction of playmaker Kengo Nakamura and had several chances near the end.
Yoshito Okubo missed a great chance under a challenge from Covic and then fired just wide of the top corner in stoppage time.
"Delighted with the result, it was tough and we played a very good opponent," Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said.
"All the A-League sides have shown we can compete at this level, Central Coast beating J-League champions Sanfrecce, Victory winning last night over Yokohama and us tonight... it's a good step forward for the A-League."
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