Substitute Manabu Saito struck a late winner as Kawasaki Frontale beat visiting Sydney FC 1-0 in Asian Champions League Group H on Wednesday.
The Urawa Reds, meanwhile, clinched a point on the road after holding on for a goalless draw against Beijing Guoan in Group G.
Despite taking 20 shots to their opponents' two, Frontale had difficulty breaking down the Australian side, who brought a defensive game plan into the Group H clash at Todoroki Stadium.
Frontale -- who last week lost their ACL opener 1-0 to Shanghai SIPG on a late penalty -- had just one previous win this year, a 1-0 victory over the Urawa Reds in the Fuji Xerox Super Cup on Feb. 16.
(Manabu Saito (C) hits the winner)
After missing a number of chances in the first half, the back-to-back J-League champions turned up the pressure following the break.
They made repeated attacks inside the final third late in the match but struggled to find a way past Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.
The custodian denied Ao Tanaka from close range in the 75th minute, then saved Yu Kobayashi's header from the center of the box a minute later.
Substitute forward Kei Chinen, meanwhile, sent one attempt over the bar and saw another saved in the top corner.
Frontale manager Toru Oniki brought on Saito in the 81st minute. The move paid off two minutes later when the attacking substitute beat Redmayne with a shot from the middle of the box.
Oniki praised Saito, Chinen and 61st-minute substitute Yuto Suzuki for making a difference off the bench.
"We had great contributions from all of our substitutes," Oniki said. "It was good to get a win and clinch three points in front of our home fans."
The win moves Kawasaki past Sydney into third place in the group behind SIPG on goal difference.
At Beijing's Workers Stadium, the traveling Reds withstood a barrage of attacks late in the match to share the spoils with Guoan, who they had beaten in their two previous ACL meetings.
The Chinese Super League side went inches from a winner in the first minute of additional time when Spanish midfielder Jonathan Viera hit the post from close range.
Congolese striker Cedric Bakambu then found the net in their next trip down the field but was ruled offside.
The Reds, who beat Thailand's Buriram United 3-0 in their opening clash, sit on top of the group as the only undefeated team.