An injury-time goal to substitute Troy Hearfield rescued A-League football leaders Central Coast Mariners and dealt a massive blow to Sydney's finals campaign, with the New South Wales derby finishing 1-all last night.
A close-range strike from youngster Joel Chianese 10 minutes into the second half put Sydney ahead.
The Mariners created several chances in the last half hour, with Hearfield darting in to put a header past Sydney goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.
Central Coast have a three-point lead with three rounds remaining, while Sydney are three points behind sixth-placed Newcastle, who beat Melbourne Victory earlier on Saturday.
Sydney needed to win all three of their remaining games to have a chance of making the finals.