They suffered their heaviest defeat of the season but there was a massive silver-lining for the Newcastle Jets come the conclusion of Round 24 of the Hyundai A-League.
While the 5-2 loss to Adelaide United on Friday night all-but ended the club’s pursuit of the Premiership, other results mean Ernie Merrick’s men are assured of a top-two finish.
With Melbourne Victory losing to Perth Glory on Sunday, it means none of the chasing pack can get enough points over the last three games to finish above the Jets.
The Hunter club are currently on 47 points, 10 ahead of third-placed Melbourne City, with Victory fourth on 35 points.
After missing the finals for the last seven seasons in a row, it’s a wonderful achievement for the club and new boss Merrick.
Especially considering the club finished last in the 2016/17 Season.
The astonishing turnaround means the Jets are now just one game short of a Grand Final, with a home semi-final at McDonald Jones Stadium on the last weekend of April.
You can be sure it will be almost a full house for the grand final qualifier, with raucous atmosphere trying to get the club into their first decider since they last won the title in 2007/08.
Could they repeat the feat a decade on?
If they can the club will also return to the AFC Champions League, Asian football’s showpiece club competition.
Before all that, the Jets will hope to bounce back to form on Easter Sunday when they host Melbourne City in what could be a preview of a potential semi-final in a month’s time.