In what might have been his swansong, Archie Thompson has helped Melbourne Victory break new ground, qualifying for the knockout phases of the Asian Champions League.
Victory beat Japan's Gamba Osaka 2-1 at AAMI Park on Tuesday night to claim a place among Asia's elite.
First-half goals to Besart Berisha and man-of-the-moment Thompson had Victory well on top, before Ademilson's late scrambled effort had Victory pulses racing.
Kevin Muscat's side held on through 10 tricky minutes to win through on their fifth Asian campaign.
Berisha had them in front, lashing home a 13th-minute penalty earned when Oliver Bozanic's curling shot was blocked by the arm of Shun Nagasawa.
The 10,147-strong crowd cried out for the departing Thompson to take the spot kick but they needn't have worried.
The 37-year-old took centre stage soon enough, finishing Kosta Barbarouses' cross three minutes later and celebrating with his trademark corner-flag embrace.
Victory were cruising to success over their J-League opponents, who brought a below-strength team to Melbourne, given they could not qualify, before conceding a late corner.
Lawrence Thomas denied Hiroto Goya from a corner but Ademilson bundled home in the 85th minute.
They couldn't find another, meaning Victory finished second in their group, behind cashed-up Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG but ahead of Korea's Suwon Bluewings on head-to-head record.
Victory's round-of-16 opponents will be decided on Wednesday night.
Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai, China's Jiangsu Suning and FC Tokyo of Japan will complete their Group E then, with Victory to face the group winners.
The A-League club will host the first leg on May 17, travelling for the second leg on May 24.