Brisbane triumph over Sydney | (Credit: Getty Images)
Goals in each half from Tameka Butt have lifted Brisbane Roar to a crucial 2-0 win over arch-rivals Sydney FC.
The win keeps the Roar's hopes of winning the premiership alive after they entered the penultimate round level with leaders Perth Glory, through trailing on goal difference.
However defeat for Sydney, who started the day in fourth, leaves their finals aspirations hanging in the balance.
A highly-organised and determined Roar side deserved their victory, overturning a win for the Sky Blues in Brisbane earlier this season.
The first half proved to be somewhat of an arm-wrestle in warm conditions on the artificial surface at Sydney's Cromer Park, with goalscoring opportunities remaining at a premium.
The two sides seemed set to go into the interval deadlocked, however the Roar made a perfectly timed breakthrough deep into first-half injury time.
The Sydney defence suffered a momentary lapse allowing Emily Gielnik to free the ever-prolific Butt who finished easily past the exposed Sham Khamis.
Butt doubled her side's advantage 10 minutes after the interval by clinically taking advantage of an under-hit Annalie Longo pass.
Brisbane striker Gielnik twice spurned golden opportunities to put the match out of Sydney's reach as she broke towards goal with the home side pushing forward.
Khamis made a great block from Gielnik midway through the second half, while the powerful striker hit a shot narrowly the wrong side of the post in the latter stages.
Despite some periods of pressure Sydney largely failed to unduly trouble Roar custodian Stewart, with substitute Nicola Bolger and Kyah Simon having notable strikes on goal.
With just under 10 minutes remaining Sydney were denied an invaluable goal by the offside flag.
Ellyse Perry fired in a long-range shot which was touched onto the post by Stewart, and Simon was ruled offside when she pushed home the rebound.
Sydney FC 0
Brisbane Roar 2 (Tameka Butt 48'+, 55')
Sydney FC: 20. Sham KHAMIS (gk), 2. Teresa POLIAS, 3. Elizabeth
RALSTON, 4. Sam KERR (13. Larissa CRUMMER 69'), 9. Caitlin FOORD, 10.
Renee ROLLASON, 11. Annalie LONGO, 14. Alanna KENNEDY (7. Nicola
BOLGER 58'), 16. Ellyse PERRY, 17. Kyah SIMON (C), 22. Lillie BILLSON
(19. Emma KETE 58')
Substitutes: 1. Sian McLaren (gk)
Brisbane Roar: 18. Kate STEWART (gk), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 3. Amy
CHAPMAN, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5. Brooke SPENCE, 7. Erika ELZE, 8.
Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC (6. Ashley SPINA 65'), 13.
Tameka BUTT, 17. Emily GIELNIK (15. Hannah BEARD 83'), 19. Katrina
GORRY (16. Sachiko TATSUOKA 77')
Substitutes: 1. Hoshimi KISHI (gk)