Tim Cahill's stunning scoring run for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua is changing Australia's football reputation in China while Matt Spiranovic and Adrian Leijer are also impressing in the Chinese Super League.
Cahill struck the decisive goal in Shenhua's 2-1 win at Guizhou Renhe on Saturday, stabbing Giovanni Moreno's cutback into the net from 10 yards to notch his eighth goal in 11 Chinese Super League (CSL) matches.
The former Everton man took seven games to open his account, while the arrival of Demba Ba and Momo Sissoko prompted speculation Cahill would be squeezed out due to the CSL's restrictions on imports.
But Shenhua stuck with Cahill ahead of Brazilian forward Paulo Henrique - who was sent on loan to Liaoning Whowin - and have been rewarded as the Australian has led Francis Gillot's men on a run of just two losses in 10 games.
Rival coach Mads Davidsen - who is an assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson at Shanghai SIPG - has been impressed by how Cahill has won over Shenhua's fans.
"He is starting to become a big name, especially in Shanghai. He's extremely popular amongst the Shanghai Shenhua fans, for sure the most popular player right now," Davidsen told Omnisport .
"He started relatively bad in the league, it took him time to understand he structure, the style of play here - and also his team-mates took a while to work out how to play with him because he is a player who needs good support.
"The coach also used him in a lot of different positions - suddenly he was a midfielder, then a central striker and then a winger, but now I think they've found out how to use him correctly and how to set him up."
Since Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation and their players became eligible for Asian-specific import spots in the likes of the CSL, J. League and K-League; Asian clubs have generally signed defensive-minded Australian players.
But Cahill's success is proving to the Chinese football community that Australian attackers can also be worth a look.
"Part of why they [Shenhua] stuck with him [Cahill] was the fans," Davidsen said.
"The fans made a huge impact on social media that they wanted Cahill to stay."
Two "classic Australians" - as Davidsen puts it - are central defenders Matthew Spiranovic and Adrian Leijer.
The Danish coach claims Spiranovic - another Australia international - and Leijer have impressed for CSL mid-table clubs Hangzhou and Chongqing Lifan, respectively.
"Spiranovic has lifted Hangzhou the last few games here, I have seen," Davidsen said.
"Adrian Leijer is playing in a back five at Chongqing and he also looks solid."
Fan diary: Treasuring the FIFA World Cup’s™ endearing underdogs
Being on the ground in Russia and moving among the eclectic mix of supporters and locals provides plenty of lessons about the natural order of world football. One, as a lively Sunday night at the official Fan Fest in Kazan demonstrated, is that Brazil remains beloved despite r
Opponent Watch: Denmark coach's insight into van Marwijk
Denmark’s assistant coach has some unique insights into the Socceroos after working under Bert van Marwijk as one dedicated Peru fan goes to extraordinary lengths to attend the FIFA World Cup™. Plus France’s coach speaks about Antoine Griezmann’s influence on the team as he lo
How Arzani is embracing FIFA World Cup™ challenge
At just 19, Daniel Arzani is the youngest player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Having already enjoyed a breakout Hyundai A-League season, earned individual honours with the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award and earning a spot in Russia, the youngest member of the Socceroos
France defeat has bolstered belief: Sainsbury
The Socceroos may have been ousted by France on Saturday night, but defender Trent Sainsbury says the 2-1 defeat against Les Bleus has only fortified belief among the Australian squad. Australia's vice captain was immense at the back for Bert van Marwijk's side in their Group