'Sickening': Three things we learned: Perth vs City
Seemingly 90 minutes away from being crowned Premiers following results elsewhere, Melbourne City dropped its bundle in one of the biggest failures fans have ever witnessed, going down 2-0 to the worst Perth Glory team of all time.
After going behind early through a flukey Callum Timmins strike just five minutes in, the City boys huffed and puffed, but all to no avail as they directed just four of their 25 shots on target, ultimately unable to beat Liam Reddy before Timmins doubled the Glory's lead in the second half.
The result leaves City needing to win its final game against Wellington Phoenix on Monday night, assuming at least one of Victory or WU win their respective fixtures.
Here's what we learned in the aftermath:
Gl- Glov- no, we can't even say it.
The final straw should have been his Group Stage progression-costing error, and the price Patrick Kisnorbo has paid for keeping faith in an untrustable goalkeeper was Tom Glover's 67th-minute blunder to allow Callum Timmins' strike to dribble through and cross the line.
Whilst he's managed not to directly cost his team any points this time, it's only indirectly that our 'goalkeeper' was able to do so, killing off any chance City had of securing what could have still been a valuable point.
For the sake of the playing group (upon whom Glover's constant errors must be taking a toll), for the sake of the fans (definitely so): we're beyond the final straw - he can't be involved any further from here.
The tougher pill
We started with Glover, because he was the easy place to direct frustration, but the bitter pill to swallow - and what hurts the most about it all - is that last night's failure was on the entire team.
The reason it hurts so much is that, following that laboured, uninspired display from the boys, fans will have little faith in the team being able to turn things around against Wellington Phoenix on Monday, and, in a way, it already feels like it's out of our hands.
Following a physically and emotionally gruelling Asian campaign, the team looks a skeleton of itself; players looked tired and lacked the urgency that the situation required. Jamie Maclaren looks a man out of form by his dizzyingly high standards, Curtis Good has ruled himself out of the Plate decider with a needless stoppage-time sending-off and the return of Mathew Leckie did little to add cutting edge to City's attacking display.
With one single, sickeningly bad performance, the team has lost the faith of fans once again.
One (borderline) positive...
We will know the equation by Monday night.
There's no changing the fact that our home return should have been a celebration, though, and City fans are now likely to be subjected to probably one of the most stomach-churning 90 minutes they've ever been through.
It could have been worse, of course: That loss would have handed the advantage back to Western United if they hadn't drawn with Newcastle.
This was supposed to be a positive talking point to cap off the article, but ultimately, that performance doesn't even deserve it.