Perth Glory's finals chances are hanging by a thread after suffering a shock 2-1 loss to A-League strugglers Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium on Sunday.
Glory would have soared into fifth spot with victory over the last-placed Phoenix.
Instead, it was Wellington who took the spoils, with goals to Paul Ifill and Stein Huysegems consigning Glory to just their second loss under interim coach Alistair Edwards.
Glory's Japanese recruit Ryo Nagai pulled a goal back in the 75th minute, but Phoenix custodian Glen Moss pulled off a crucial save in the 94th minute to deny Perth an equaliser.
With just two rounds remaining, Perth trail sixth-placed Newcastle by three points, although the Jets only have one game to play.
Perth round out the season with tough matches against Melbourne Victory (away) and Adelaide United (home).
Star striker Shane Smeltz and defender Michael Thwaite will miss Saturday's clash with the Victory due to international duties, but their opponents will be without Socceroos trio Archie Thompson, Marco Rojas and Mark Milligan.
Glory couldn't find a way past Moss in the opening half, with the Phoenix goalkeeper pulling off a string of fine saves to deny goal ward-bound strikes from Matias Cordoba, Shane Smeltz and Liam Miller.
Wellington struggled to create clear-cut opportunities, but a penetrating run down the right from in-form striker Jeremy Brockie led to the first goal in the 35th minute.
Although Brockie's shot from a tough angle was deflected away off the boot of Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, Ifill pounced on the rebound to tap home the goal.
Wellington doubled their lead in the 67th minute courtesy of a beautifully-timed header from Huysegems.
But there was hope for Perth when Nagai rose above Manny Muscat to score a header of his own.
However, Moss saved the day for Wellington at the death, blocking a desperate strike from Travis Dodd in the fourth minute of extra time to secure a rare away win for Wellington.
Sydney FC (31 points) are in fifth place ahead of Newcastle on goal difference, but also have a game in hand.
Brisbane Roar (seventh on 29 points) have two home games to come and could easily force their way into the top six, while Perth Glory (eighth on 28 points) ruined the perfect chance to advance their cause in a 2-1 home loss to Wellington.
"The other results this weekend went our way. But we couldn't capitalise on the fact we had a chance to get into the six, which is disappointing," Glory coach Alistair Edwards said.
"But there's still six points up for grabs, so it's still game on."
Interim Phoenix coach Chris Greenacre praised the efforts of Moss, and said the result was sweet revenge for Wellington.
"Perth ended our playoff run last year, so we had a little bit of something on the game," Greenacre said.
"Even though we have nothing to play for, it was important we came in and gave a real performance. The boys certainly did that."