Alex Mowatt fired an 82nd-minute winner to give impressive Oxford a deserved 1-0 League One victory at Bristol Rovers.
The substitute netted with a low left-footed shot from the edge of the box after a mistake by Tom Broadbent had allowed James Henry the chance to cross from the right.
Oxford edged a high-quality game in which both teams competed strongly and demonstrated skills that would not have been out of place at a higher level.
The best chance of an open, entertaining first half fell to the visitors after 20 minutes when Henry completely mishit his shot from 12 yards after a low cross from Christian Ribeiro had given him a clear sight of goal.
Rovers also created opportunities, but went closest through a spectacular 20-yard volley from Chris Lines just before the break, which flashed narrowly wide.
Rory Gaffney had the ball in the net for Rovers early on, but was judged offside from a Tom Nichols flick-on.