Young Sydney FC star Joel Chianese predicted the Sky Blues could give the A-League championship a shake after his double helped ensure their spot in the finals on Sunday.
Chianese's first-half brace set the scene for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Newcastle at Allianz Stadium, as the Sky Blues trumped the Jets to the last finals spot on offer in front of 14,494 fans.
With scores locked at 1-1, Chianese struck twice in the space of three minutes to give Sydney a 3-1 halftime lead and a foot in the finals.
The Sky Blues had to endure some nervy late moments though, after Jobe Wheelhouse's 84th minute goal gave hope to Newcastle, who needed only a draw to reach the finals.
But Sydney held on and climbed above Melbourne Heart into fifth spot to set up a showdown with fourth-placed Wellington in an elimination final in New Zealand on Friday night.
While the two-times champions' final hopes have been hanging by a thread in recent weeks and months, Chianese said the sky was now the limit.
"I think we can go all the way," the 22-year-old said.
"We're going to take every game as it comes but we (are a chance) if we play like tonight, where every player, whether they started or came off the bench, gave it 100 per cent.
"I think we can give it a shake in the finals."
The result extended the tenure of outgoing coach Vitezslav Lavicka by at least another game before the Czech coach vacates the role reportedly offered to Central Coast coach Graham Arnold for next season.
Lavicka was given an official farewell before Sunday's game, with the 2009/10 title-winning coach receiving a warm ovation from fans, and he was delighted with his players' response.
"It was a special, emotional game for me," Lavicka said.
"I have a couple of great memories (here) ... but this night was one of the biggest."
Sydney were ahead after only 11 minutes, with Bruno Cazarine firing a powerful header into the net after a superb curling cross from Brett Emerton, who was immense for the home side along with fellow marquee star Nick Carle.
Michael Bridges equalised in the 26th minute but Newcastle's joy was short-lived as Chianese's double put Sydney on the brink.
Sydney were in control for most of the second half before Wheelhouse ensured a grandstand finish, but they ultimately left it too late.
It was a disappointing end to a dramatic campaign for the Jets, who had coach Branko Culina sacked on the eve of the season and replaced by Gary van Egmond.
"It wouldn't be normal if something didn't happen at the Newcastle Jets," Wheelhouse said.
"I think we've been through a fair bit of adversity again this year but we're a pretty strong group of players.
"It's just disappointing that we've failed at the final hurdle because I think there's no doubt we're good enough to play in the six."