Melbourne Victory have their AFC Champions League fate in their owns hands despite a goalkeeping howler costing them dearly in a 2-2 draw with Chiangrai United on Monday.
Victory looked on track for a comfortable win following first-half goals from Jake Brimmer and Ben Folami. But it was game on in the 47th minute after Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton charged off his line in a bid to intercept a free-kick -- only to see the ball sail over his head and into the goal.
Gionata Verzura scored the equaliser for Chiangrai in the 83rd minute, and both sides had a chance to win it in a frenetic finish to the match.
Acton pulled off a sharp save in the final minute of stoppage time to ensure the game ended in a draw.
Although Victory missed out on the win, the point was significant. The result means Victory are now just two points behind second-placed FC Seoul, who they take on in the final game on Thursday. A win in that game will secure Victory a spot in the next stage.
Victory made a perfect start to the match when Brimmer won his own penalty after being brought down by the goalkeeper in the eighth minute and duly converted.
Marco Rojas was causing Chiangrai all sorts of problems. But at the other end Victory's defence was all over the shop, and they were lucky not to concede a first-half goal.
Acton pulled off a sharp save low and to his right to rescue his side from one of their numerous defensive lapses.
Victory doubled their lead in the 27th minute following a one-touch piece of magic from Folami. The on-loan Ipswich Town striker ran into the box and thrust his right leg into the air to hook Jacob Butterfield's long ball over the goalkeeper.
The wheels fell off for Victory in the second half, starting with Acton's moment of madness. Acton charged off his line and was left flailing as Siwakorn Tiatrakul's free kick sailed over his head and in for a goal. Verzura's equaliser sent pulses racing.
Rojas weaved his magic in a bid to put Victory ahead again, coming close on numerous occasions. But in the end the draw was enough to keep Melbourne in the hunt for a top-two berth in their group.