Among strewn garbage blowing across the pitch and Rhyan Grant's free-flowing mullet, a dominant Sydney FC side could only manage a goalless draw against Ulsan Hyundai.
Sydney dominated large portions of the match against a defensive Ulsan side that had obviously heard the plethora of pre-match bragging from the Sydney camp - in all fairness, the Sky Blues looked a cut above their Korean opposition.
The sterner test will come in the reverse fixture, with the third-placed side in last season's K-League quite content to take a draw back from a remarkably windy Jubilee Stadium.
"Not everybody was fit today," Ulsan defender Dave Bulthius said.
"I'm happy with the 0-0, as a defender it's okay when no one scores and I'm sure in the replay we'll get our revenge.
While the Dutch centreback was succinct in his assessment of the game, clearly stoked to be appearing on carefree Australian television, Man of the Match Brandon O'Neill was equally bouyed by his side's performance.
"It's a great experience I love playing against this sort of opposition because they're great tactically," he said.
"I don't know how but Cyclone Katrina came to Sydney tonight - I think I kicked it to Perth in the back corner just before.
"We just need to translate (our form) into an Asian Champions League encounter. Credit to them, their a tough side and they had to battle the cyclone as well."
It was a sentiment echoed by Michael Zullo, who reasserted that Steve Corica's side should consider themselves favourites to progress from the group.
"I think we had the chances to win it, last year we had a few lessons in how to manage a game in Asia but we're very disappointed not to get the three points," Zullo said.
"We showed tonight we're as good if not better than Asian competition, the wind played a massive part tonight it was one of the most difficult games I've played in.
"We've known our quality from the get-go, it's the same nucleus of the squad but we've let ourselves down a couple of times this season, but it's the business end now and we're up for it."