Footscray timed its run to perfection to steal a finals double chance on the last day of the VFL season.
There were two parts to the equation for the Bulldogs to secure a top-four finish.
Firstly, they needed to upset the Magpies, who arrived at the Whitten Oval on a 12-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs won by 32 points in a come-from-behind win on Saturday after three goals and a best-on-ground showing from youngster Bailey Dale.
Then the Bulldogs needed Geelong to beat fourth-placed Port Melbourne on Sunday.
The Cats did that with a 35-point victory.
Footscray enters the finals as a red hot chance to go all the way.
The Bulldogs have won six of their past seven matches, including wins against the top three sides. They will travel to Casey Fields for a qualifying final date with the Casey Scorpions at 2pm on Saturday. The Bulldogs beat Casey by one point in a classic at the Whitten Oval seven weeks ago.
The Bulldogs could receive a personnel boost in coming weeks with a number of Western Bulldogs scheduled to return from injury, which will create a trickle down effect.
Meanwhile, Williamstown was restricted to opposition scouting at the weekend as it drew the bye in round 21.
It was a comfortable weekend for the Seagulls, who could not be dislodged from third spot.
The defending champions will face Collingwood in a blockbuster qualifying final at Ikon Park from 2pm on Saturday.
Williamstown is once again rallying its supporters in the Hobsons Bay area and beyond. The Seagulls want fans to swamp social media by wearing blue and gold apparel and holding placards with the #WeStandAlone hashtag.
It will be the Seagulls’ 11th consecutive season in VFL finals, an amazing effort considering the amount of change the club has experienced in that time, including two alignments and becoming a stand-alone powerhouse.