Perth Glory missed a golden opportunity to lock up an A-League finals berth as Melbourne Victory ended their winless run with an emphatic 4-0 victory on Saturday.
Marco Rojas bagged a double with goals in each half as the struggling Victory broke their five-match losing streak at Jubilee Stadium in Sydney.
Defeat leaves Perth in a three-way battle alongside Adelaide United and Western United for two remaining available spots.
Andrew Nabbout made a welcome return to the Victory starting side, but it was Rojas who did most of the damage.
The New Zealander followed up his midweek double against Central Coast Mariners with the opener approaching the half-hour mark, expertly rifling home from the edge of the penalty area after being allowed far too much latitude.
A somewhat listless Perth barely troubled Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton despite enjoying far more possession.
Instead, Victory doubled their lead on the hour as Nabbout earned a penalty from an innocuous looking challenge and the Socceroos forward duly converted the resultant spot-kick.
There were few signs of Glory reprising their strong second-half showing against the Wanderers on Tuesday.
Victory maintained their attacking momentum and Rojas expertly created space to fire home to extend the advantage on 69 minutes and take his tally to four goals in two matches.
There was more heartache for the Glory as substitute Elvis Kamsoba added another in stoppage time with his first goal in his 40th A-League outing.