Sydney coach John Longmire was left lamenting missed opportunities after his injury-ravaged side squandered the chance to cause one of the biggest upsets of the AFL season.
The Swans trailed ladder leaders Port Adelaide by 32 points at halftime at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, but mounted a challenge in the third term, kicking two goals without reply.
It left them facing an 18-point deficit at the final change, having witnessed Essendon and Geelong complete similar comebacks to score improbable victories in the previous 48 hours.
But wave after wave of attack at the start of the final term came unstuck when a forward line desperately missing injured stars Lance Franklin and Isaac Heeney failed to capitalise.
"You think you're a bit of a chance at different points," Longmire said.
"In that last quarter we had the ball inside-50 a few times up until that point and we didn't execute.
"We dropped a couple of easy marks and we had the chance to execute a bit better up in our front half.
"We just had that feeling that we needed to kick a goal, otherwise they could get one and that happens a bit in footy."
Despite Sydney's territorial dominance, that crucial first goal of the final quarter went to Port Adelaide's Charlie Dixon, effectively putting the game to bed.
The Swans have now lost four of their last five games and sit third from bottom of the ladder.
But Longmire was pleased with elements of his young side's performance against a full-strength and finals-bound Power outfit.
"We come over here and things don't go well for us in the first half, but we adjust and have some spirit in the second half and get it right," Longmire said.
"There's bits and pieces and parts of our game and then there's another area we need to look at.
"You feel like you fix one part and there's another part that bobs up and you've got to get right.
"We're just not quite consistent enough with that, youth or not."
Sydney, who arrived in Adelaide from Perth, now head to a hub in Cairns and play their final four games in the space of 16 days, starting with Melbourne at Cazaly's Stadium on Thursday.
The Swans have used 38 players this season - more than any other side - and Longmire forecast further squad rotation in the busy finish to the campaign.