Archie Thompson was thrilled to "survive another guillotine" after Melbourne Victory progressed in the AFC Champions League (ACL) to keep him in navy blue for another three weeks.
Thompson scored Victory's second goal in their 2-1 win over Gamba Osaka on Tuesday night that ensured the Big V finished second in Group G - qualifying for the ACL knockout stages for the first time in the club's history.
For the 37-year-old forward, who has failed to secure a contract with Victory for next season, it delays what will be the end of an era.
Instead, Thompson will get to play up to two more games in the ACL's Round of 16.
"It was very sweet," he said, when asked about his goal.
"In the context of it, qualifying for the next round, that was the most important thing and I survive another guillotine."
After an emotional week looking ahead to his potential swansong in navy blue, Thompson was clearly relieved to be able to play in front of his adoring Victory fans one more time.
"I think it was 'Broxy' [Leigh Broxham] said I've got more farewells than Johnny Farnham," he laughed.
Thompson and midfielder Broxham are the only Victory players to have been a part of all four previous ACL campaigns, and the former didn't downplay the achievement of getting out of a continental group.
"Yeah massive," Thompson said.
"That was our fifth campaign and we've been close last time, we needed to win and we had a penalty shout right at the end at Jeonbuk Motors and we missed that, and tonight was perfect."