Central Coast Mariners secured their first back-to-back A-League wins in nearly three years, seeing off Adelaide United 2-1 to revive their slender finals aspirations.
Fabio Ferreira scored against his former club in hot conditions in Canberra on Sunday, before Kwabena Appiah netted his first A-League goal to lift the Mariners within five points of sixth-placed Western Sydney, whom they play next weekend.
Their first set of consecutive wins since April 2014 came despite a slow start in stifling 33-degree heat, countered with drinks breaks both sides of halftime.
And though Adelaide had the best of the early play and earned a stoppage-time consolation via a fine finish from teenager Jordan O'Doherty, the reigning champions are now five points adrift at the foot of the ladder.
Central Coast's first attempt on goal went unrewarded after a linesman hastily ruled Roy O'Donovan offside, despite replays proving the contrary.
They would take the lead soon enough thanks to goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic's worrying game-ending injury -- a suspected muscle tear in his shoulder.
No sooner had the captain's replacement John Hall entered the fray on 30 minutes than the 22-year-old ran out into no-man's land as Trent Buhagiar sped towards goal.
Hall blocked the first effort but was too late to atone for the costly error when Connor Pain lifted a speculative ball to Ferreira, who whipped home a lovely 18-metre finish at the near post.
The Reds soon wrested control and gave their hosts several almighty scares that would have yanked them ahead but for Paul Izzo's sensational form.
The Mariners custodian made a superb save with his legs in first-half injury-time to deny Ben Garrucio.
The young goalkeeper stayed alert straight after the break to thwart a glancing header from A-League starting debutant Mark Ochieng.
And even after going down and dazed with a split lip when Sergio Cirio pinged a shot at his face, Izzo continued to keep his side in the game.
The miraculous recovery from an initial concussion concern prevented what would have been an A-League first in both keepers being replaced due to injury.
Adelaide continued the hunt for an equaliser but the result was put beyond doubt with Appiah's devastating burst of speed in the 79th minute.
The 24-year-old outran two Reds with ease and crossed to fellow substitute Josh Bingham, before burying the ensuing deflection with a first-time finish.