Western Sydney Wanderers coach Kat Smith says her side's belief never faltered after they sprung one of the biggest upsets of the A-League Women season, stunning Melbourne City 2-0 to snap a year-long winless run.
Going into Sunday afternoon's contest at Wanderers Football Park without a win in their past 15 matches - the third-longest streak in the competition's history - goals from Sheridan Gallagher and Olivia Price meant the Wanderers tasted success for the first time in 364 days.
Entering play as the league's most free-scoring side and needing a win to return to the top of the table, City couldn't find a way through the host's defence, which kept its first clean sheet since a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on January 9, 2022.
"Despite results, internally we looked at the progress we were making and the momentum that comes with that," Smith said.
"(We were) maintaining that belief week in and week out that we're on the right track. It takes days like today to turn your season around and I'm so proud of them."
Playing without attacker Emina Ekic after her broken leg against Perth, City's best early chance came when Daniela Galic delivered a cutback that Hannah Wilkinson sent straight at keeper Jordyn Bloomer in the 12th minute.
Five minutes later the Wanderers had an opportunity to take the lead when a turnover from City allowed Sarina Bolden to play Price in behind their lines, only for her shot to go wide.
Rhianna Pollicina tried to blast City ahead with a 34th minute free-kick but the effort sailed over Bloomer's goal.
Five minutes before halftime, Gallagher struck when she launched a shot from the corner of the penalty area that took a touch off Chelsea Blissett and flew into the air, where the wind helped guide it inside the far post.
Ten minutes into the second half it was 2-0 when the hosts forced a high turnover and worked the ball to Price atop the box in a position in which she could fire home.
It could have been even more for the Wanderers had Bolden had her shooting boots on but the Philippine international spurned several golden chances in her otherwise stellar ALW debut.
"You can't underestimate the effort and the work rate that happens when we're in possession and she's making forward runs, or we're out of possession and she's shutting down their ability to build up," Smith said of Bolden.