Apollo and Centrals face an all-or-nothing fight this Sunday to stay alive in the 2020 Limestone Coast Football Association season.
The pair will meet in the preliminary final with the winner securing a ticket to the Grand Final against International on Sunday, October 11.
Inter secured its berth in the decider after finishing on top of a tense fight with Centrals in the qualifying final at Casadio Park.
A total of five yellow cards were dished out during a heated encounter, which exploded midway through the first half.
The home side took the ascendancy after some smart work on the goal line by Noah Koko Htoo set up a golden chance for Matthew Bueti to slam the ball into the net.
The Lions always took the fight to the minor premier and answered almost immediately with a successful header from Brayden Coppick.
Centrals’ excitement was turned down by Inter, which started to take control after the dramatic sequence of events.
Inter was eventually rewarded for its efforts when Koko Htoo chipped over the goalkeeper’s head to put his team back in front.
The game settled down before the half time whistle, but it did not take long for the atmosphere to reach boiling point when play resumed.
Both sides of the crowd erupted after play was littered with incidents around the ground.
Inter appeared the most likely to score, but the Lions found the equaliser.
The visitor’s inability to hit the lead proved costly after a cheeky flick by Sar Hay Moo outfoxed their goalkeeper.
The strike placed Inter back in the driver’s seat and despite Centrals continuing to pose a threat until the final whistle, the black and blue secured another grand final berth.
The Lions’ defeat means they must overcome Apollo in the preliminary final to book a rematch with their Italian rivals on the big stage.
Apollo knocked out Naracoorte in a similarly high-scoring elimination final at Webb Street.
After a nil-all stalemate before half time, the game took off in the second half.
Naracoorte appeared dangerous in the opening stages and hit the scoreboard twice thanks to Takbirullah Ahmadi and George Matutua.
However, Apollo went one better in home conditions to avoid the scare and win by one goal.
The South East Women’s Football Association season came to an end in dramatic style at Blue Lake Sports Park as Gambier Centrals overcame Inter by a comfortable 5-1 margin with Tess Andrews the star of the show.
Andrews created SEWFA history by becoming the first player to claim the top three individual awards on offer in the same season – the Jenna McCormick medal for best on ground in the decider, league best and fairest and grand final winning captain.