Adelaide United's bid for an A-League finals berth remains precariously placed after a 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium.
Reds defender Jordan Elsey opened the scoring in the 13th minute before Adam Le Fondre responded in the 39th.
The draw took sixth-placed Adelaide to 35 points to edge closer to a finals spot and knock Newcastle (30 points with one game to play) out of contention.
"In the second half, their keeper made two fantastic saves - on another night, maybe another keeper, I think they both would have gone in," Reds interim coach Carl Veart said.
"So we're all disappointed but over the balance of the game, it was measurably a fair result."
Adelaide's Stefan Mauk almost opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game when he unleashed a sizzling strike just past the post.
Three minutes later, Lachlan Brook sent a well-weighted corner into the box and, with the Sydney defence flat-footed, Elsey made the most of a free header and powered home the opener.
Milos Ninkovic almost created an equaliser out of nothing at the 25-minute mark, cleverly bringing down the ball and lashing a shot that forced a good save from Paul Izzo.
The Sky Blues were back on level terms before the break with a lightning move.
Sydney caught Adelaide on the counter, with young defender Harry van der Saag taking off down the inside-right passage and sliding through a clever ball for Trent Buhagiar, who squared it for Le Fondre to tap home.
The goal drew the English striker level with Melbourne City's Jamie Maclaren on 19 at the top of the golden boot race.
Both goalkeepers shone in the second half, including Izzo's dive to beat Ninkovic's 68th-minute long-range attempt, then Andrew Redmayne's reflex save to deny Riley McGree four minutes later.
Adelaide defender Michael Jakobsen blocked Paulo Retre's 87th-minute shot, while Ben Halloran put a late attempt wide in stoppage time, ensuring Sydney snapped their two-game losing run.
"It's hard for the boys just after clinching the premiership to remain motivated but I thought it was a good response tonight; a very good second half," Sydney coach Steve Corica said.
The Sky Blues were without Luke Brattan (suspension) and Rhyan Grant (groin) while Kosta Barbarouses was dropped to the bench to "freshen up".
Corica expected Grant to be in the mix to return next week, likely in their final regular-season game against Western United.
Adelaide young gun Al Hassan Toure was a second-half substitute after recovering from injury.
Australian Associated Press