Canberra United sit fourth in the W-League after a deserved win at Adelaide United with the round before Christmas proving the Wanderers are genuine contenders.
Two-time W-League champions Canberra United will spend Christmas with a firm grip on fourth spot following a morale-boosting 2-1 away win over Adelaide United.
Veteran goalscorer Leena Khamis and rookie teenager Hayley Taylor-Young netted in either half as Canberra returned to winning ways after two losses in the past three outings.
The side from the nation's capital were good value for the win, defying both a spirited showing from the winless home side and a heavy bushfire smoke haze at Marden Sports Complex on Sunday.
Khamis profited from a fine Olivia Price pass to crash home the opener from the edge of the penalty area on nine minutes for the opener.
Canberra's Elise Thorsnes had a goal chalked off for offside and Taylor-Young hit the post as the visitors pushed for a sealer throughout the second half.
The 17-year-old Taylor-Young eventually netted after a goalmouth scramble 12 minutes from the end for her maiden W-League goal.
Adelaide did get some reward for their endeavours with substitute Emily Condon scoring in an extended period of added-time after referee Isabella Blaess exited the pitch in the final minutes with apparent illness.
Melbourne City hold down top spot, three points clear of surprise contenders Western Sydney Wanderers who have a match in hand.
City outlasted Perth Glory on Thursday thanks to a lone Rebekah Stott goal as the favourites claimed a W-League record fifth successive one-goal win.
There are no such goalscoring issues for the Wanderers, who routed champions Sydney FC 5-0 on Friday in one of the most spectacular results in the competition's history.
Doubles for American star Lynn Williams and young ace Kyra Cooney-Cross helped the Wanderers crush third-placed Sydney FC and claim a club record scoreline.
Brisbane Roar's mini revival suffered a dent as they played out a scoreless stalemate against Melbourne Victory on Saturday in a match delayed for a day due to extreme heat in Victoria.