Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was pleased with his team after a hard-earned 1-1 draw with Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday.
A much-changed Victory held the Chinese giant at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, earning its first point in Group F.
Jai Ingham cancelled out Huang Bowen's opener in the first half before Victory saw out a deserved point.
Speaking at a post-match news conference, Muscat was satisfied and said the performance laid down a challenge to the whole Victory squad.
on the game…
"Without doubt, there was a totally different performance, night and day, night and day, and I'm really pleased for the players that were out there obviously. They worked really hard, understanding the quality of the opponent. We changed things a little bit in the way we set up and we created enough chances to obviously get the goal and had some more opportunities as well so it was a pleasing night, very pleasing."
on difference between the two games against Guangzhou…
"He (Antonis) had 10 mates that played with a real passion and a real desire and a level of commitment that's required and for us, we've got a game on Saturday and clearly a lot of the players that played tonight, it'd be difficult to ask them to back up so we'll change the squad again and the challenge is laid down for anyone that didn't play tonight to bring that sort of commitment and that sort of effort."
on feelings after draw…
"Of course I'm pleased. It's always the case, we were very disciplined and understood how we were going to try and gain ascendancy and gain an advantage tonight and with a plan, if you haven't got a certain amount of desire and a maximum commitment, a plan is worth nothing so tonight, very pleasing, and like I said there's a challenge to some of the boys that are going to have to back up on Saturday and there's a lot of players who, there'll be players who come into the team and the challenge is laid down to everybody now. That's the level of commitment that's required, nothing short."