Caitlin Foord scored a double to help Sydney FC defy old rivals Brisbane Roar and some gruelling Queensland heat for a crucial 3-1 victory at Lions Stadium on Saturday.
Sydney FC scored twice in quick succession within moments of the first-half drinks break after extreme heat forced kick-off to be delayed by an hour.
Midfielder Natalie Tobin netted a rare goal while Foord doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after teenager Leah Davidson was deemed to have handled the ball.
The Sky Blues could have been out of sight as Savannah McCaskill hit the frame of the goal but Allira Toby single-handedly dragged the Roar back into the contest after dribbling past three defenders, before finishing for a superb individual goal just before halftime.
The match became wide-open during the second half as players wilted in the heat with numerous chances to score at either end - Foord was the only player on target in the 75th minute.
The win catapults Sydney FC past their opponents into second as Brisbane suffered their first defeat since early December.
There was, however, some good news for the Roar as Hayley Raso returned from a six-month injury lay-off after suffering three broken vertebrae in her back.
Adelaide United's hopes of ending their finals' drought suffered a potentially mortal blow as the previously winless Western Sydney Wanderers collected an unexpected 4-1 away victory.
Rachel Lowe gave the Wanderers an early lead with a thumping header and although Veronica Latsko soon drew Adelaide level, the visitors never looked like losing after Kylie Ledbrook restored the lead on the hour mark from the penalty spot.
Adelaide goalkeeper Sarah Willacy kept her side in touch with some impressive saves, but Erica Halloway and Elizabeth Addo ensured the Wanderers collected their first win of the season.
After starting the round in equal fourth United must now make up ground over the final two rounds if they are to feature in their first-ever play-off series.
Meanwhile, Canberra United await news of the rescheduling of their crucial match against leaders Melbourne Victory.
The match after was postponed on Thursday evening after just 16 minutes was played with lightning strikes around Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan.
Needing to win both of their remaining matches to have any hope of making the finals, the postponement may come as a blessing for Canberra were without three of their foreign imports this week due to international commitments.
Australian Associated Press