Western United won over Ballarat, but was sent home with its tail between its legs after an emphatic loss to Wellington Phoenix in an historic A-League fixture in the city on Saturday.
Making its Ballarat debut for premiership points, Western United lost 3-1 as the New Zealanders extended their unbeaten run to seven games.
While it was far from the on-field result the first-season A-League club was looking for, off-field Western United's venture to Ballarat and into state's western corridor was a big hit with soccer fans with a crowd of 5084.
The Mars Stadium stands were close to capacity as spectators braved 30-plus degree heat.
Wellington coach Ufuk Talay was impressed with the facility.
"It's a great stadium. It's a great venue.
"There was a great atmosphere.
"We're very happy to bring football to Ballarat," he said.
While the majority of the crowd was supporting the green and black of Western United, there was a faithful band of well-voiced Wellington fans decked out in yellow and black.
A day out in Ballarat also provided a welcome change of fortune for some of the New Zealanders, who for the previous two days had been watching the Black Caps suffering at the hands of Australians in a Test cricket match at the MCG.
And there was no holding back their celebrations, which featured the main block of Phoenix supporters continuing the tradition of removing their tops when Wellington hit the 80-minute mark in front and with a firm grip on the three points.
This is the first of four regular season games in Ballarat for Western United.
United returns to play Brisbane Roar on Sunday, February 16, Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday, March 29 and Melbourne City on Good Friday on April 10 - all scheduled for 4pm starts.
Western United also took the opportunity on Saturday to further engaged the Ballarat soccer community.
Ballarat District Soccer Association junior players took part in a parade on the ground as part of the pre-game build-up and entertainment.