Melbourne Victory suffered its first loss of the NPL2 West season, going down 3-0 to Geelong on Sunday.
Victory midfielder Rahmat Akbari hit the woodwork twice at Stead Park, where the visitor enjoyed good periods without capitalising.
Goals from Michael Yoseski, Adamson Ajayi and Denis Yongule saw Geelong to its win.
Victory made a decent start and a good early chance fell to Josh Hope, whose effort was saved by Geelong goalkeeper Dylan Nikolovski.
However, the visitor saw Birkan Kirdar limp off during the first half, which was for the most part a midfield battle.
Geelong found the opener nine minutes before half-time, Yoseski tapping in a cross from the left at the near post.
Victory finished the half strongly, denied by some desperate defending before Akbari struck the crossbar, his curling strike tipped onto the woodwork by Nikolovski.
Only a triple save from Nikolovski denied Victory an equaliser early in the second half, with Thierry Iradukunda the third player denied in the sequence.
That proved crucial as Geelong doubled its lead three minutes later, Ajayi tapping in from close range after a long throw went uncleared.
After Yongule made it 3-0 for the host following a nice move, Akbari hit the woodwork once more, smashing an effort against the post after skipping into the area.
Head coach Gareth Naven’s post-match thoughts
“Sometimes we do it really well, sometimes we don’t and when we don’t, our performance suffers. Our players, I believe, need to understand that they’re here to service the team, Melbourne Victory football team, playing in the NPL2 competition and move away from servicing themselves at times and the sooner we do that the more productive our team, the more productive our performance will be.
“There were glimpses of it today. At times, we did control possession, we didn’t at all control the space in behind at times – once or twice – and it cost us. We didn’t control the space in regards to a throw-in, which we conceded from. We didn’t control the space when they got in behind down our right side and combined to get in and shoot and score. We’ve got to learn defensively that we’ve got to be able to control the spaces all the time when we don’t have the ball.
“In possession, there were some good things, trying to get in behind, penetrating. At half-time we talked about our strikers setting up in a position to make earlier runs, that happened, but it needs to happen more so we’ll do a review on Tuesday, we’ll need to learn from that review and get ready to play Werribee next week. The important thing is to learn as a team and perform as a team and you as the individual will benefit from that.”
NPL2 West 2019 Round 2
Geelong 3 (Michael Yoseski 36′, Adamson Ajayi 58′, Denis Yongule 79′)
Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton (gk); Luke Goulding, Aaron Anderson, Benjamin Carrigan (c), Aydin Mustedanagic; Anthony Lesiotis (Brandon Lauton); Josh Hope, Birkan Kirdar (Thierry Iradukunda); Rahmat Akbari; Jack Palazzolo, Yazid Said (Liston Diaz).
Victory’s under-20s continued their perfect start to the season by beating Geelong 4-0.