Siem de Jong's brilliant free kick helped Sydney FC grind out a 2-1 win against Adelaide United at Jubilee Oval on Sunday evening.
The Sky Blues went ahead early through the 29-year-old's mastery and solidified their advantage with Jacob Tratt's header in opening stages of the second half.
But Craig Goodwin pulled a goal back for the Reds from the spot and it took a superb Andrew Redmayne save in the dying moments to deny Marco Kurz's team a point.
De Jong has had an injury interrupted start to his marquee stint in Australia but showed his true quality in the 13th minute with a curling set piece into the top corner that left Paul Izzo stranded.
Adelaide's Danish import Ken Ilso had two chances in quick succession to equalise, but failed to loop a header over Redmayne and then fired wired from outside the box a minute later.
Sydney FC's profited from the Reds wastefulness with another goal from a set-piece just after the restart - this time Tratt arrived in perfect time to head in Brandon O'Neill's near post corner.
But the home fans had barely finished celebrating the goal when Aaron Calver brought down George Blackwood in the penalty area and Goodwin slotted the penalty lifeline for Adelaide
Barely five minutes later, the Sky Blues thought they had secured breathing space when De Jong nipped in to score after Vince Lia lost possession, but the VAR correctly intervened to reveal Adam Le Fondre affected the play from an offiside position.
The Reds pushed hard for the remainder of the match to get an equaliser but lacked a focal point up front despite Blackwood's best endeavour.
However, Redmayne saved the victory for Steve Corica's side, getting down low to this right to palm away Ryan Kitto's goal bound shot after Halloran's pull back.
Three points saw Sydney FC draw level with Melbourne Victory in second place on 26 points, while Adelaide stay in sixth position - seven points clear of Newcastle Jets.