Steve Corica insists that Sydney FC were battling for a Sydney Derby win against Western Sydney Wanderers, but simply ran out of steam.
After a strong first-half performance, in which Alex Brosque gave the Sky Blues the lead after just seven minutes, Sydney allowed Western Sydney back into the contest.
Eventually, the Wanderers struck back through a heavily-deflected Alex Baumjohann free kick and a tense second half ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
“The boys kept going,” said Corica.
“They wanted to win by more and that was the message at half-time. We wanted to carry on, get the second goal and even get the third goal.
“It happens in football, a deflection and it goes in, but other than that, I think they played well."
The draw effectively ends Sydney's Premiership hopes, handing the title to Perth Glory and deflating what promised to be a do-or-die top of the table clash next weekend.
But Corica remains spirited, especially given the Sky Blues still retain a realistic chance of Asian Champions League qualification after a 3-3 draw with Shanghai Shenhua midweek.
“I think Wednesday took a lot out of them, mentally as well, leading three times and them coming back and then again tonight," Corica said.
“But they showed good character, you see Rhyan Grant in the dying minutes, he was still getting forward and trying to win us the game. Great energy from the boys, great effort.”