Tianjin Teda coach Zuo Shusheng was delighted his players took it up to and defeated Kawasaki Frontale.
The win was the first in the Asian Champions League for the Chinese club, prompting Zuo to praise his ‘fearless’ players.
“Our players turned in a fearless display even though we knew that we were playing a team who are stronger than us,” said Zuo.
“We should be proud of ourselves for the fighting spirit we displayed today.
“It was a hard-fought victory and the game was too physical. But I won't comment on the fouls because it was up to the referees to decide.
“Whatever difficulties are ahead, we can overcome then with the kind of courage we showed today.
“Teamwork is the key to our success in the future,” he added.