Jeremy Habtemariam was lost in a sea of jubilant Gungahlin United players after he scored the winning goal to secure their place in their maiden Capital Football decider.
Antoni Timotheou embraced coach Marcial Munoz. Supporters streamed onto the field. Players stomped their feet in the change room as they belted out their club song.
The victory meant "everything."
The Gunners clawed their way back to the top after a heft Capital Football fine left them well below ground zero.
The Gunners were docked six points by Capital Football after the club failed to meet payment arrangements for a historic debt.
Their first goal was to avoid relegation to NPL2. Their second was to make the top-four. And now their maiden championship is just waiting on the horizon.
Gungahlin United secured their fairytale ending with an emphatic 2-1 victory over Canberra Olympic at Deakin Stadium on Sunday.
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"We're over the moon and really proud of our achievements this year," Munoz said.
"We look at this now as an extremely successful season.
"The motivator wasn't to demonstrate to anyone else but ourselves. How much we could do with it, what we could do, inspire and motivate ourselves in trying to overcome the hurdles in our path.
"I'm so happy and proud of my team and Gungahlin United because we've had some hard times and now we're seeing some light at the end of the tunnel."
A see-sawing first half saw the scores locked at nil-all as teams missed opportunities and goalkeepers Jordan Thurtell and Rory Larkin made save after save.
Olympic opened up the match in the second-half as Michael Piccolo beat Thurtell to score in the 63rd minute.
Frank Cachia's side maintained dominance and nearly extended their lead after an Elie Darwich goal was disallowed.
But five minutes of relentless determination turned the match into Gungahlin's favour.
Jack Green scored an equaliser with a perfectly placed header from a corner-kick in the 84th minute to keep Gungahlin's grand final dream alive.
A handball in the box then gave Gungahlin hope to secure the match in the dying minutes.
The crowd hushed as star striker Jeremy Habtemariam came forward to take the penalty. And seconds later, he was lost in a sea of triumphant Gungahlin players after converting the penalty kick.
"I didn't even look and just hit it," Habtemariam admitted.
"I missed one earlier in the season but the boys had confidence in me. I was just repaying the favour.
"Green's header was the best I've ever seen. It really put us back in the game and I knew from that point on that we were going to win."
Gungahlin will meet FFA Cup champions Tigers FC in title decider at Deakin Stadium next Saturday.
The Tigers could be without their captain Mark Shields who copped a one-match ban for receiving two yellow cards during their qualifying final victory.
Shields was sent off for attempting to draw a penalty but coach Gaby Wilk believes his captain didn't deserve the red card and will try to appeal the suspension.
"He's their most influential player so it's going to be a big loss for them," Habtemariam said.
"But we know our players are strong enough to beat any team whether they're full-strength or not."
Meanwhile Olympic will prepare to kick off their NPL finals campaign against the Wollongong Wolves in two weeks.
NPL Preliminary final
Gungahlin United 2 (Green 84' J.Habetemariam 88') bt Canberra Olympic 1 (Piccolo 63')