Armando Broja said scoring a goal on his first Premier League start was a "dream come true" as his neat finish against a lacklustre Leeds gave Southampton their first league win of the campaign.
The Slough-born Albanian international striker, on loan from Chelsea, fired high into the net after he was set up by Nathan Redmond at the end of a swift counter-attack in the second-half.
It gave the Saints a deserved three points and 20-year-old Broja a treasured career memory.
"It was amazing to get my first start in the Premier League, I've been dreaming of this moment since I was three years old," he said.
"Scoring on my first start is a dream come true, I couldn't ask for anything better. This is the favourite moment of my career so far, hopefully there are many moments and goals more to come."
Of the goal, he added: "It was a great run from Nathan Redmond, he said before the game the goals will come, just to keep making runs. He put the ball on a plate for me and I was able to finish."
The Saints had been the better side and looked far more likely to break the deadlock throughout, but also suffered from a familiar lack of cutting edge in front of goal.
Prior to the goal, their best chances came from corners, with Broja glancing one header wide and flicking on a second that Mohamed Elyounoussi was inches from converting at the back post.
Leeds, who were missing six senior players, including Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, only had two shots.
Jack Harrison's drive - deflected over by Mohammed Salisu - was the closest they came but Daniel James also put a good chance past the post after he had nipped in to claim the ball off Salisu in the box.
The win takes Southampton to seven points and 15th place, a point and two league positions better off than Leeds.
"We've been searching for this first win and it is amazing to get it here at home in front of the fans," added Broja.
"Hopefully we can push on and the wins will keep coming."
Saints finally get their march under way
This was not a game for the neutrals.
But then Saints boss Hasenhuttl had suggested as much in his pre-match press conference
in which he stated the game would "not be a five course dinner".
The absence of star performers on both sides did not help, with the home side missing the suspended James Ward-Prowse for the first time in the league since December 2018 and Leeds gutted by injury and the need to rest Raphinha following his exploits for Brazil on Friday.
But Southampton had all the necessary attributes on their side - discipline, cohesion, determination and, for the one moment that mattered, composure.
Danny Ings' sale in the summer stripped them of the one man that could be relied upon for a decent finish and they have noticeably struggled without him in the early stages of this season.
However in Broja they have a raw talent, borrowed from Chelsea, who could well grow into the man they need, at least for this campaign.
His finish was a fine one, stroked high past the diving Illan Meslier to end a move that began as a Leeds attack broke down, with Nathan Redmond released to provide a low cross invitingly into the striker's feet.
Having out-shot Leeds 19-3, the home side would have been kicking themselves had they not taken all three points, especially with Leeds so painfully out of sorts.
"It is important to get the first win, the most important one of the season," Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports. "It took a bit longer this season. We fully deserved this win.
"We were aggressive and showed some good solutions. It was a demanding game for everybody but the lads did a good job. We had a short two days to prepare for the game and the gameplan worked well I thought."
Leeds, meanwhile, were not the bold, brave side Marcelo Bielsa brought into the Premier League last season, but a pale imitation in dire need of regularly fit players and a spark to ignite their campaign.
Bielsa admitted that the best team had won and refused to blame his side's performance on the absence of key players.
"I concede that we didn't play well at any moment in the game," he told BBC Sport. "The result is fair and it is justified in the first half. In the second half it was more even but we didn't play well in any moment.
"It is not common to not be able to count on six players but the team that started the game was formed of players that usually play.
"Despite that it was difficult for us to get into the game in the first half, so I don't link the absence of the players to the result of the game."