A freakish double strike by marquee star Shinji Ono continued Western Sydney's remarkable rise in a 2-1 A-League win over Melbourne Victory on Tuesday at Parramatta Stadium.
The Japanese playmaker scored brilliant goals in either half in front of 13,659 fans as the Wanderers leapfrogged the Victory into third spot in their debut A-League campaign.
It was Tony Popovic's side's fourth win in five games to confirm their credentials as genuine title contenders.
While the A-League's form player, Melbourne star Marco Rojas, hogged the pre-game headlines, it was Ono who stole the show.
He opened the scoring with a remarkable piece of technical skill in the 42nd minute and delivered again with a cracking late winner after Victory substitute Spase Dilevski had equalised seven minutes earlier.
After resting a host of key players in last week's 1-1 draw with Perth, Popovic made seven changes to his starting line-up with Ono, Mark Bridge and Youssouf Hersi among those returning.
The Wanderers looked the fresher side in the first half and created several clear-cut chances as the Victory couldn't find much in attack.
Bridge had a great chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute but blasted a volleyed attempt over the bar from Hersi's headed pass.
The visitors suffered an early blow with Gui Finkler forced off in the 10th minute with an Achilles injury.
The Wanderers continued to mount pressure and Ono finally achieved the breakthrough three minutes before halftime with a moment of magic.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley headed the ball down field and the Japanese playmaker collected it on the volley, juggled it twice to beat a hapless Adrian Leijer and finished superbly from the edge of the box.
The Victory tried to respond after halftime with Archie Thompson squandering a decent chance in the 54th minute.
The Wanderers suffered a scare midway though the second half as Ono was hurt in a challenge on Jonathan Bru but he was able to continue.
Western Sydney looked to put the result beyond doubt and had a decent penalty shout turned down before Nathan Coe made a brilliant save to deny Michael Beauchamp in the 65th minute.
The Victory kept fighting, though, and were rewarded when Dilevski created something out of nothing with a low drive from just outside the box that beat Wanderers 'keeper Ante Covic.
But it was Ono's day and he sent a passionate home crowd into raptures as he put the Wanderers ahead again with a curling, long-range effort.