A brace for Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre and an Andrew Redmayne penalty save piled further pain on the Brisbane Roar, beaten 2-1 by the Sky Blues at Jubilee Oval.
Still reeling from John Aloisi's decision to stand down as coach on the eve of the match, the Roar conceded the lead 10 minutes into the second half but appeared back in the contest via a controversial penalty with five minutes to play.
Reviewed by the VAR when forward Adam Taggart went down following minimal contact in the box from Aaron Calver, the Roar had the chance to level at 2-2 from the spot.
But Redmayne dived well to his left to deny Taggart, handing Brisbane their equal club-worst fifth straight loss.
"We lost a good person yesterday who has done a fantastic job for the football club," interim coach Darren Davies said.
"We spoke about fighting showing a bit of team spirit out of respect to John. We trained yesterday after the news, travelled very sombre.
"But I think today there was a reaction. We could have got a point in the end."
Meanwhile, the win was Sydney's third in a row, and momentarily moved them to second on the A-League ladder -- albeit with pacesetters Perth still to play.
Le Fondre was again dangerous, taking his season tally to nine and three clear of his nearest rival for the league's golden boot.
After both sides traded goals in the first half, Le Fondre's second in the 55th minute gave Sydney control off the back of wonderful lead-up play from Milos Ninkovic and Siem de Jong.
The pair helped Brandon O'Neill into space down the left edge, before the midfielder crossed it low to a running Le Fondre, who tapped it past goalkeeper Jamie Young with his non-favoured left foot.
The 32-year-old's first had also come from a nice lead up, this time in the 16th minute when defender Michael Zullo provided a perfectly-placed deep cross from well outside the box.
Le Fondre sprung free and ran onto the ball with virtually no opposition, allowing him to head home.
However, the Roar were back level in the 35th minute when the VAR ruled Matthew McKay had not handballed despite pleas from Sydney defenders.
After Eric Bautheac crossed into the box, Dane Ingham had Redmayne fending the ball away onto McKay's upper left chest, before the midfielder put it into the back of the net.
"I thought the first goal was a handball," Sydney coach Steve Corica said. "From the screen on the tele with the replay, it looked like a handball to Matty McKay. But it is what it is, it's three points to us.
"We're equal on points now with Perth and Melbourne. It's a busy period in January, but it's a very important win tonight."