Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe says the FFA Cup offers his side a chance for early salvation following the disappointment of last season.
The Glory scored a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Newcastle Jets in their first competition match of the season, though they only narrowly avoided elimination after Sidnei Sciola equalised in the dying minutes to cancel out David Carney's goal.
Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix also advanced after seeing off Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners with 1-0 wins.
The Glory, runners-up in last year's maiden cup final, went ahead in extra time through a Nebojsa Marinkovic penalty only for Labinot Haliti's late goal to send the tie to penalties.
Glory goalkeeper Jarrod Tyson proved the hero making three blocks in the shoot-out to lift Perth into the last-16.
It was a much-needed boost for the Glory whose season ended ignominiously earlier this year when they were excluded from the A-League finals series for major breaches of the competition's salary cap.
"It (FFA Cup) is massive for us," Lowe said.
"It sets us up for the season because we find it difficult to get pre-season matches in the west. Hanging in there (in the cup) for as long as we can is a focus for us, and if we manage to snag it this year we will be very happy."
Lowe says he is pleased by the impact of the team's new players against Newcastle, following the exit of several key personnel over recent months.
"It was basically just young kids for us," he said.
"We had Jacob Collard who has never played before, and young Stef Valentini who won us the penalty. I don't think he has ever watched an A-League game, let alone played in one."
Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was less impressed by his side following their scratchy win in Gosford.
The Phoenix prevailed after a defensive error gifted Kwabena Appiah an early goal, while the Mariners missed a late opportunity to push the tie into extra time when Roy O'Donovan failed to convert from the penalty spot.
"It was a poor performance on our part," said Merrick.
"We need to keep the ball in midfield and our two strikers didn't get into goalscoring positions or take their chances.
"But if you come away with a win and a cleansheet that is one positive. We conceded silly goals last year so at least we improved in that respect, but we need to step up."
Merrick also says he is on the lookout for an additional striker after the loss of star attacker Nathan Burns during the off-season.
The Wanderers progressed courtesy of a second-half winner from Golgol Mebrahtu, while Melbourne side Oakleigh Cannons edged Far North Queensland 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
The draw for the Round of 16 will be held late on Wednesday, with at least one non A-League club guaranteed passage to the semi-finals.