Canberra United locked in a W-League home semi-final with a win in Perth, but the devastated team is sweating on scan results of defender Emma Checker's knee after a pre-game disaster left her in danger of missing the rest of the season.
United beat the intense Western Australia heat and a line-up reshuffle just moments before kick-off to beat the Perth Glory 2-0 on Saturday night to secure second place on the ladder with two games left in the regular season.
Canberra coach Rae Dower implored the FFA to revisit its travel budget to allow away teams to add an extra player to their squad after Checker fell to the ground in the warm-up when her knee buckled during a routine drill.
The 19-year-old junior Australian representative will have scans on her knee on Monday, with the club desperately hoping her impressive debut season in Canberra doesn't come to a premature halt.
Checker's defensive partner Ellie Brush said United would rally around the devastated star and use her as inspiration to chase another title if she is unable to play a part in the rest of the season.
"We're hoping for the best for her, if she's not right then it's a case of getting it done for her," Brush said before catching the red-eye flight back to Canberra.
"We've formed a good combination at the back and it was sad to see her go down. We wish her the best and we really want to see her back as soon as possible so our fingers are crossed."
Brush scored the opener from a header and in-form striker Ashleigh Sykes put the result beyond doubt in the closing minutes when she continued her superb season up front.
Canberra had just three players on the bench for the match after Checker went down, with one of those goalkeeper Melissa Maizels.
Emma Kete moved into the starting line-up as she continued her return from injury and Jenna McCormick moving to the back line.
McCormick was outstanding again, showing her ability to shift seamlessly between positions while Veronica Perez dominated the midfield.
Perth had its own injury troubles with Matilda Caitlin Foord was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.
And making matters worse was the fact officials were unsure whether the game would kick-off at the scheduled time when the temperature was recorded at 35 degrees just 10 minutes before the start of the match.
"Having an extra player travel is something the league probably needs to look at in these kind of conditions," Dowers said.
"Jenna McCormack had another absolute blinder of a match ... all of the girls were outstanding when you consider one of your players goes down before kick-off.
"Emma [Checker] has had an brilliant year and we said to the girls it's all about how you cope. They coped brilliantly."
Canberra will play the Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park next Sunday, with Dower to manage the workload of her players, especially with some joining the Matildas in camp at the AIS.
AT A GLANCE
W-League round 12: CANBERRA UNITED 2 (Ellie Brush '22, Ashleigh Sykes '87) bt PERTH GLORY 0 at Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday.