Sydney FC suffered yet another heartbreaking defeat as a late winner gave A-League leaders Adelaide a 2-1 victory at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
Badly needing a result after three straight losses, the Sky Blues looked set to at least salvage a point in front of 13,317 fans after Yairo Yau had levelled the scores in the second half.
But in-form Reds midfielder Dario Vidosic struck in the 88th minute to continue the Reds' brilliant start to the season and move them five points clear atop the table.
After conceding a whopping 14 goals in their past three games, Sydney were much improved in their second match under caretaker coach Steve Corica.
But they remain rooted to the foot of the table while the search for a new head coach continues.
The match marked the long-awaited return of former Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina from a serious knee injury, coming off the bench in the second half for his first A-League appearance in almost two years.
Vidosic, who received a national recall this week, created the opener for Adelaide in the 21st minute.
His perfectly-executed back-heel flick allowed Fabio Ferreira to break on goal and unleash a powerful finish for his first A-League goal.
The Reds were unlucky not to be 2-0 up at halftime after Marcelo Carrusca had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside seven minutes prior to the opener.
Sydney's best chance of the half came when Alessandro Del Piero's ambitious free kick was tipped over the bar by Eugene Galekovic in the 42nd minute.
But they looked sharper after halftime and capitalised when Yau put them back on terms with a great finish in the 57th minute.
The Panamanian showed great pace in collecting an Adam Griffiths long ball and beating Galekovic from a tight angle.
Sydney suffered a nervous moment in the 63rd minute when referee Peter Green showed a red card to Seb Ryall, before realising it was only his first yellow of the night and allowing him to remain on the field.
Culina received a standing ovation when he came off the bench in the 68th minute to cap a remarkable return after two bouts of surgery.
Despite chances to both teams, the match looked headed for a draw before Vidosic struck.Nigel Boogaard hit the bar from close range and Evan Kostopoulos had an air swing but Vidosic made no mistake with a third attempt for the Reds.