Japan put their opening Group B loss behind them with a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Thailand in Bangkok.
Vahid Halilhodzic's men were beaten 2-1 by United Arab Emirates at the start of the month, but produced a dominant display on Tuesday to get off the mark.
Genki Haraguchi headed the visitors into a deserved first-half lead against a Thailand side who also suffered defeat last time out, going down 1-0 against Saudi Arabia.
Having squandered a lead against UAE, Japan left it late to put this one to bed, with the impressive Kawin Thamsatchanan beaten for a second time by Arsenal's Takuma Asano 15 minutes from time.
Thailand's disappointing evening got worse in the final few minutes, when substitute Prakit Deeprom was dismissed after picking up a second yellow.
Japan signalled their early intent when Keisuka Honda's header back across goal from a searching delivery was cleared away from under his own crossbar by Tanaboon Kesarat inside the opening 10 minutes.
A brilliant save from Thamsatchanan denied Asano soon after as Japan continued to threaten in the opening stages.
And the pressure finally told when Hertha Berlin's Haraguchi picked his spot with a well-taken header from the heart of the penalty area in the 17th minute.
Honda should quickly have made it 2-0, but the AC Milan midfielder failed to make contact with Asano's pass along the edge of the six-yard box.
The one-way traffic continued and Thamsatchanan made two excellent stops before half-time, both from the lively Honda.
Japan's profligacy was a theme of the second half, too, although Shinji Kagawa will have been relieved to see an offside flag raised after lifting his close-range shot over the bar.
Remarkably, the hosts could have snatched a late equaliser had Teerasil Dangda not shot straight at Shusaku Nishikawa after latching on to Chanathip Songkrasin's clever reverse pass.
It would have been incredibly harsh on Japan, whose next qualifier is at home to Iraq, while Thailand – who saw Deeprom sent off at the death following a couple of clumsy challenges – head to UAE next month.
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Europa League qualification and important clashes for a couple of recalled faces to the Caltex Socceroos squad are on the agenda for your Aussies Abroad this weekend. Read on for a full rundown of what's ahead for our overseas Aussie stars (all times are AEST). Amini’s
How to watch Korea Republic v Caltex Socceroos
On Friday, 7 June in Busan, Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos will take on Korea Republic in an international friendly. With a core group of experienced Australia i...nternationals rested ahead of a busy FIFA World Cup qualifying schedule, the match serves as a chance for Arnold t
The 11 Hyundai A-League players in the Caltex Socceroos squad
Sydney FC’s Grand Final hero, a 1.98 metre defender from Stoke City and a revitalised Bundesliga attacker are among six uncapped players to be included in Graham Arnold’s latest Caltex Socceroos squad. Three of those players – Sydney FC pair Andrew Redmayne and Brandon O'Neil
Arnold: 'This is an opportunity to create some depth'
Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold fronted the media on Thursday afternoon to announce his squad to take on Korea Republic in next month's international friendly. Here's what Arnold said on creating opportunities for depth, resting his 'core group' of experienced players, and