As Leigh Broxham lay prone on the turf, distraught at the own goal he’d just conceded, it seemed to dawn on Victory fans that the jig was up.
The big German’s recent resurgence always had the glimmer of fool’s gold about it, and so it showed. Slow, clumsy, and rash, Niedermeier epitomised everything wrong with the Victory tonight, and capped it off with a disastrous sliding tackle so telegraphed that it may have well have been sent in Morse code.
Billed as the next Mathieu Delpierre, Niedermeier has fallen miles short of the mark, and it’s difficult to see his contract being renewed beyond this season.
Yes, these decisions had little to no impact on the final result. And yes, FFA seem to have taken an increasingly non-interventionist policy when it comes to the controversial process of video review.
But why does the technology exist if the officials are too scared to use it?
While he didn’t make contact with the ball, Rhyan Grant was clearly offside in front of Lawrence Thomas for the third goal, which surely warranted further examination.
Calver, meanwhile, blatantly hauled Kenny Athiu to the floor – a la Ramos on Salah – but the decision was bizarrely upheld.
We’ve seen Kevin Muscat out-coached before. We’ve his sides lose, and lose heavily – mostly in Asia. But we’ve never seen them completely give up – at least until tonight.
For a man who prides himself on tough man-management, this was beyond embarrassment: it undermined the defining narrative of his six years in charge.
Muscat is by some distance the league’s longest-serving manager - will this humiliation spell the end of his reign?