Roy Krishna was the returning Phoenix hero and Diego Castro the Perth villain on Saturday in a dramatic 2-1 A-League win for the hosts in Wellington.
In a match important for two ailing sides, Glory defender Shane Lowry scored an own-goal in stoppage time to hand Wellington just their fourth win of the season.
It came from Krishna's sharp cross, marking a brilliant return for the Fijian international, who had missed three games while in an apparent dispute with his club.
After agreeing mid-week to a one-season extension, Krishna was an attacking force after being injected at half-time and he set up the winner.
It could have been so different for Perth after Castro had earned his team a contentious penalty eight minutes from the end, with the scores locked at 1-1.
However, Castro's effort from the spot was a feeble dink straight at grateful goalkeeper Tando Velaphi.
Castro had earlier scored the Glory's equaliser in the 36th minute after Phoenix teenager Sarpreet Singh had celebrated his first A-League start by scoring a spectacular third-minute goal.
The result ends the Phoenix's three-match losing streak, including successive 4-0 defeats, and lifts them at least momentarily out of last place.
Coach Dario Kalezic said last week's hammering by Western Sydney had left his players feeling sick.
"We promised each other we'd do everything to stick by the plan and we promised the owners, the club and the city that we'd do all that we can to get away from last place and get the points," he said.
However, he also said it was time for "natural selection", meaning players such as Singh and Velaphi would get opportunities over the closing weeks as he assessed his overall squad.
They sit two points behind eighth-placed Perth, who remain seven points outside the top six with seven rounds remaining. The loss is Perth's seventh in their past eight matches.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe disputed Kalezic's assessment that the Phoenix deserved the win.
"We should have come away with three [points], simple. We had a penalty; we dominated second half; dominated possession," he said.
"We were the side who were going for it. They sat in and looked to counter all the time. We were the away team, creating chances which we didn't quite muster."
Singh, 18, was a standout for Wellington. His starting debut left Phoenix stalwarts Krishna and Michael McGlinchey on the bench but it was justified with his early left-foot rocket from outside the box.
Castro did all the work in the 36th-minute equaliser, firstly earning a close-range free kick.
He then blasted it low past a sprawling Velaphi, the former Glory goalkeeper making his first Phoenix appearance for out-of-form Lewis Italiano.
Krishna was a weapon after coming on for All Whites winger Monty Patterson, who also made his first Phoenix start.
McGlinchey eventually brought up his 200th A-League appearance, replacing Singh with 22 minutes to play.