Adelaide lost to Sydney FC 3-0 on Sunday night but it was not the only drama unfolding at Allianz Stadium.

Elrich made his first start since tearing his ACL against Melbourne City in round 26 last season.

The 31-year-old's family, including former Socceroo brother Ahmad, watched from the stands in what turned out to be a bitter sweet anniversay for the right back.

"It’s never fun being out for so long," he told Fox Sports. "I think I just kicked over the year mark yesterday."

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Elrich played 85 minutes with the main aim getting some minutes into his legs.

"It wasn’t anything against Mick Marrone being out of form or anything like that," he said. "It’s just in case I’m needed in the finals that I’ve got some minutes under my belt."

A goal to Sydney's Matt Simon on the cusp of half time and a record-breaking brace to Bobo (59', 66') left Adelaide in fifth spot.

Elrich added: "Credit to Sydney, they’ve been quality now for a number of seasons and they were the best team tonight and thoroughly deserved that win.

"It just shows the difference – they were clinical in the front three, took their chances, and it was an uphill battle. Conceding just before half time is never easy.

"We know we’re good enough and fit enough (for the finals), this was just one of those games where Sydney played well, kept the ball and made us work hard.

"For us when we got to the final third we were giving it away too cheaply and they were coming back at us.

"We’ll go home assess that and make sure we’re ready once it comes finals."