MELBOURNE， May 4 (Xinhua) -- Melbourne Victory will feature inthe Asian Champions League (ACL) knockout stage for the first timein the A-League club's short history after beating Japan's GambaOsaka 2-1 in Melbourne overnight.
Starting the night even on points - and boasting a superiorhead-to-head record - with 2015 K-League runner-up Suwon Bluewingsin Group G， Victory needed a win to lock up their place in the last16 of the prestigious competition.
Despite failing to navigate their way past the group stages intheir four previous ACL appearances， Victory held their nerve tobreak the hoodoo through goals from Besart Berisha and ArchieThompson.
Following the hard-fought result， Melbourne Victory managerKevin Muscat told reporters that he was "elated" to finally breaknew ground in Asia.
"It's a big achievement considering we have had five attempts(to qualify before). That joy is overriding. It's great for theclub， we have managed to create some history a couple of times thisyear， we had never won the FFA Cup either，" Muscat said on Tuesdaynight.
After winning the A-League champions trophy last year， MelbourneVictory - arguably Australia's biggest football club - struggled onthe domestic front this season， finishing sixth before bowing outin the first week of the finals.
Gamba Osaka， J-League giants， threatened to spoil the show，drawing within a goal in the last five minutes.
"That was typical of our season， that we left the door halfopen， gave them an opportunity，" Muscat said.
Last night's game loomed as a potential swansong for club legendArchie Thompson， who has scored 91 times since the club's maidenseason in 2005.
However， the 37-year-old striker helped to prolong his farewellby hitting the scoresheet.
"This is a great result and it's beautiful to be part ofsomething like this，" Thompson said post-match.
"It's the first time we've got through the group stage and youcan't get rid of me just yet.
"This has given me an unbelievable thirst (for the ACLcompetition)."
Victory will now prepare for home and away clashes in the roundof 16 on May 17 and 24 against the winner of Group E， either SouthKorea's Jeonbuk or China's Jiangsu Sainty.
Elsewhere， Melbourne Victory's A-League rivals， Sydney FC，turned out a limp performance against Guangzhou Evergrande inChina， losing 1-0.
However， the Sky Blues had already clinched their place in theknockout stage prior to the match， and still finished a point clearof Japan's Urawa Reds at the top of Group H. Enditem
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