Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson scored a late winner in his side’s 2-1 A-League triumph in Perth on Saturday night.
The game appeared headed for a draw after Victory skipper Mark Milligan cancelled out his 27th-minute own goal with a 39th-minute penalty.
But Thompson secured all three points when he pounced on James Troisi’s well-weighted pass to slot home the winner in the 90th minute.
The triumph lifted Victory into second spot on the table, giving them a one-point buffer over third-placed Western Sydney with just four rounds remaining.
Perth Glory remain bottom of the table after their winless run stretched to nine games.
The Victory, who were playing their third game in the space of nine days, now have to back up for Tuesday’s Asian Champions League clash with Japanese outfit Yokohama F. Marinos in Melbourne.
There was drama during the warm-up when Glory young gun Danny De Silva was knocked unconscious after being struck in the side of the head by a wayward ball.
De Silva was replaced on the bench by Adrian Zahra, and Glory took a surprise lead in the 27th minute when Michael Thwaite’s header deflected off Milligan and into the back of the net.
Glory goalkeeper Jack Duncan pulled off a brilliant fingertip save to deny Tom Rogic three minutes later.
But Victory were back on level terms before half-time when Milligan converted a penalty after Troisi was pulled down by Glory defender Matt Davies.
Clear-cut chances on goal were few and far between in the second half.
But Thompson made no mistake when a golden opportunity finally fell his way, with the fringe Socceroo slicing his way behind Glory’s defence before nailing the late winner in front of 7068 fans.
Glory interim coach Kenny Lowe admitted it was poor play for Davies to give away the penalty, but he felt Troisi may have dived.
“I think he had his speedos on underneath his shorts,” Lowe said.
“I think he went down rather well. But I can’t see from that far away, and (our defender) shouldn’t have got involved in that.”
Victory coach Kevin Muscat was pleased his men were able to escape with all three points despite not playing at their best.
“I didn’t think it was a particularly good game of football. I thought it was so stop-start,” Muscat said.
“We tried to build some momentum and build some speed into the game, but the game kept getting stopped every time.
“We persisted and eventually created a good opportunity and scored a good goal.”