The A-League Women premiership race is once again in the hands of Sydney FC after Melbourne City suffered an upset 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.
Despite ceding control of the A-League Women premiership race to Sydney FC, Melbourne City coach Rado Vidosic says his understrength squad will have no regrets about a 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.
Heading to Kingston Heath knowing that wins over the Roar, the Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers would guarantee them the premiers' plate, Vidosic's side instead fell at the first hurdle on Thursday night.
Unable to get things going in attack, City were left frustrated as Mariel Hecher's 26th-minute effort from a Shea Connors cross proved the difference-maker; Roar putting some ground between themselves and the wooden spoon ahead of a visit to Canberra next Monday.
City's push for a third premiership in club history now likely rely on them winning both their remaining fixtures, the first of which will come against the Jets next Tuesday.
Their forlorn hope will then be that Perth Glory or Adelaide United do them a favour by knocking off the Sky Blues.
"We were talking about regret throughout the whole week," Vidosic said. "We knew that we were going to be short up front.
"We needed to put in the effort, work our butts off and not have any regret at the end. I think they've done that."
Without Holly McNamara after an ACL injury and Hannah Wilkinson and Rebekah Stott to international duty, City's midfield struggled to find cohesion in the face of fierce Roar pressure throughout the contest.
Bouncing back after being hammered 8-2 by Adelaide, Roar's press and defensive discipline frustrated the hosts, who struggled to work the ball into dangerous areas.
"Besides the last fixture we've been in every contest," Roar coach Garrath McPherson said.
"There have been games where we had that scoreline (and conceded late).
"It was nice to take all the work we did on the training pitch and talk about managing games off the pitch and being mature and convert that tonight."
Despite having most of the possession, City's first shot that worked Roar keeper Isabella Shuttleworth came down a goal in the 32nd minute.
Butting up against an embedded defence looking to play on the counter in the second stanza, City came agonisingly close in the 52nd minute when Tyla-Jay Vlajni's corner led to a goalmouth scramble that Shuttleworth eventually pounced on.
"(Roar midfielder Katrina Gorry) gets the ball and she can do something," Vidosic said.
"She's a world-class player. Unfortunately, we didn't have anyone at that level tonight."