Rookie Adelaide United 'keeper Joe Gauci saved two penalties but Central Coast Mariners somehow flipped the script to register a 2-1 win in an engrossing top-of-the-table A-League clash.
In just his fourth game and having secured a superb save in his side's win over Sydney FC on Sunday, Gauci was at it again at Central Coast Stadium with spectacular parries in the 17th and 57th minutes.
With the Reds enjoying a 1-0 lead, it looked to be something of another spot-kick curse for the Mariners, who had bizarrely conceded three penalty goals when they lost to Adelaide six weeks ago.
But the plucky Mariners refused to let their misfortune dictate the result.
Oliver Bozanic, who'd missed the second penalty attempt, pierced three Reds defenders to unfurl a cracking low strike to beat Gauci at the left post in the 72nd minute.
Just four minutes later, Alou Kuol had the home side in front for the first time.
Joshua Nisbet drew in Gauci and made the custodian commit before laying back to the unmarked Kuol from close range.
"It really speaks to the character within the group ... we played with an amazing amount of courage and resilience that I probably haven't seen for a long time," Mariners coach Alen Stajcic said.
Things had looked to be headed a much different way for the Mariners.
Reds midfielder Craig Goodwin was eventually called out by the VAR for a handball in the 17th minute with veteran Matt Simon, who later had a header disallowed with an offside, stepping up to the spot.
Gauci saved the shot down the middle to frustrate the ladder leaders, but plenty more drama was to come.
Defender Jordan Elsey saved off the line in the 44th minute and then three minutes after the break a lovely long ball from Reds defender Ryan Strain caught out Jack Clisby, Ben Halloran squeezing his cross to Kusini Yengi who beat 'keeper Mark Birighitti.
Bozanic stepped up after another handball, Gauci this time diving to his right to make what seemed like a save the would break the Mariners' backs.
Yet the steely Central Coast showed why they have been the surprise packets of the season, dominating much of the rest of the match to secure the result.
Adelaide United coach Carl Veart was philosophical about the result after a six-match winning stretch, praising Gauci but seemingly acknowledging the keeper's error in the Kuol goal.
"It was fantastic - he's done extremely well, but you have to play for the full 90 minutes don't you," he said.
"At times we just allowed them a little but too much space and opportunity to hurt us."
The Mariners had gone three matches without a victory but now have a four-point buffer at the top of the ladder.