Melbourne: Australia`s Melbourne Victory overcame three-time J-League champions Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 in the AFC Champions League in Melbourne on Tuesday.
New Zealand international striker Kosta Barbarouses scored the winning goal in the ninth minute and Victory defied the Japanese attack for the remainder of the match.
It was Victory`s fifth win in four ACL campaigns and keeps alive their hopes of progressing from the group stage, with four points from three games in Group G.
Barbarouses steamed on to a through pass from James Jeggo to beat the Yokohama goalkeeper Tetsuya Enomoto for the decisive goal.
While Yokohama Marinos dominated the match with their passing and movement, they paid for their poor finishing. Unmarked Yoshihito Fujita botched a great chance with 12 minutes left.
Substitute Jungo Fujimoto also cannoned a free kick off the crossbar and impressive left-winger Manabu Saito fired a chance wide, to the anguish of manager Yasuhiro Higuchi in the team dug-out.
But the Victory also had their chances, with Barbarouses having two goals disallowed for offside in the second half and coming close to scoring another nearing half-time.
"We went ahead quite early and we defended much better than we have lately. It`s our first clean sheet since December," Barbarouses said.
"It`s good that we can see games out and on another day I could have had two or three goals."
The two teams meet again in the group in Yokohama on April 2.