The Sky Blues were almost away when Karol Kisel teed up Alex Brosque whose left foot blast from outside the area was brilliantly saved by Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic who backed that effort up with another save from the deflection off defender Daniel Mullen to keep his side alive in the opening minutes.
The first half was full of exciting play with Sydney having the most chances as Adelaide were having trouble with the home sides midfield who were running riot and linking up well but could not make the most of their forward advances.
After the re-start, Sydney finally got their reward when veteran midfielder Steve Corica weaved his way through traffic in the box and smashed it home past a helpless Galekovic. Adelaide were almost immediately back on level terms but Clint Bolton was able to keep out Cristiano’s thunderbolt.
Galekovic kept his team in the match once again when he made a brilliant reflex save from a close range Brosque toe-poke after the hour-mark and if it wasn’t for his efforts, the Reds could have been in a much more vulnerable position.
With five minutes remaining, Sydney’s Shannon Cole picked out John Aloisi with a long ball and the striker hit a sweet left-foot shot that went whistling over the crossbar which was the last real act of the match.
The loss was a bad result for Adelaide who remain second-bottom on the table and face a real test in front of them to get themselves in the finals race.