A goal and two assists from Bridge capped the perfect start with three vital away points, in a tough Group H featuring Guangzhou Evergrande and FC Seoul.
The result ensuring no Japanese side won an opening AFC Champions League group match for the first time in history, in fact taking just one point of a possible twelve.
Speaking after the match, Bridge conceded his side knew that Kashima would be short of match fitness before quickly turning his attention to their next A-League clash.
“Kashima are a very good team and their season hasn’t started yet but you can tell they are going to be a very good side and we are just happy to be leaving here with the three points.”
“Some guys stayed home and didn’t travel for us so it’s great for the guys who played to get the win tonight but we now need to focus on our next match quickly because we travel on Friday morning and play Saturday night.”
Bridge was also delighted to find the scoresheet after a lengthy injury setback.
“Of course it’s nice to score a goal and coming back from injury I am happy to get my first ninety minutes under my belt as well.”