Canberra United have made it four straight A-League Women victories, but it didn't come easily in a 4-2 win against Adelaide United.
Canberra United coach Njegosh Popovich has heaped praise on Michelle Heyman after the legendary striker's hat-trick carried her side to their first four-game winning streak in seven years.
United had to dig deep for Saturday's 4-2 win against Adelaide United, but left McKellar Park level on points with fourth-placed Melbourne Victory - three adrift on goal difference - with four games left in the A-League Women's regular season.
Heyman, who's in some of the best form of her career aged 34, has scored seven goals in the four-game winning run and is closing in on another slice of history, just six goals away from becoming the first ALW player to crack triple figures.
Popovich, who's been steadfast in his belief Heyman should figure for the Matildas at this year's World Cup, said her numbers spoke for themselves.
"For me she's still the best number nine in Australia," he said.
"She keeps going on like this and takes away the golden boot, tough to be able to look (past) her for the World Cup.
"She's just finding the back of the net, she's always got herself into those positions. It's just clicking for her at the moment, like a good striker does, they go through spells."
Heyman cooly sealed the deal on 76 minutes, clinically finishing a one-on-one chance after Adelaide had pushed for an equaliser right through the second half.
She had struck twice in a free-scoring first half-hour during which the two sides combined for five goals, but Adelaide came on strong in the second half and threatened to spoil Canberra's opportunity to push their top-four case.
Canberra's Grace Maher opened the scoring inside five minutes from the penalty spot and it was 2-0 soon after, Heyman using her body to guide the ball home after a Nicki Flannery cross took a deflection.
Heyman doubled up to make it 3-1, rising high to nod home an inch-perfect Flannery cross in trademark fashion.
Adelaide were up for the fight and struck through Katie Bowler and Maruschka Waldus, but couldn't find the crucial equaliser through the second half when chasing the game down 3-2.
Canberra had not won four-straight games since 2016 and they will look to make it five next weekend against struggling Western Sydney, before they close the regular season with the daunting stretch of Melbourne Victory (fourth), Western United (first) and Melbourne City (third).
After their biggest test in their last month of football, Popovich said it was exactly what they needed to keep pushing themselves in the race for finals.
"It was a very, very gutsy performance, the girls had to work extra hard," he said.
It was only the second time Adelaide have scored twice in a game this season, but the Reds were once again unable to register a win and remain without a victory in nine games.