Melbourne Victory’s three-match unbeaten run in the NPL2 West was ended with a 2-1 loss to Moreland City on Sunday.
Goals from Osman Kose and Christopher Cristaldo had Moreland ahead in wet conditions at Epping Stadium.
However, Victory produced a strong second half and was unfortunate not to find an equaliser after Yazid Said’s goal.
Birkan Kirdar was liveliest for Victory early, with Moreland goalkeeper Donte Thomas denying the teenage midfielder.
Kirdar, 17, tested the shot-stopper three times, including with a 25-yard strike that was tipped onto the crossbar.
Luke Higham and Kose hit the post for Moreland before the latter opened the scoring prior to half-time, drilling into the top corner from inside the area.
A poor turnover of possession deep in defence gifted the visitor a second as Cristaldo made no mistake with his finish in the 51st minute.
Victory dominated the remainder of the game and Said scored his fifth goal of the season with a finish into the bottom corner from a Daniel Aye pass in the 73rd minute.
Stefan Ristic later tapped in a Jack Palazzolo cross, but the effort was ruled out for offside as Victory’s comeback fell short.
Head coach Gareth Naven’s post-match thoughts
“If we had the second-half performance in the first half, there’d be no doubt we would’ve got something out of the game. Our preparations leading into the first half weren’t up to the level, it wasn’t really important enough for us and then we came out in the second half and dominated play, created chances.
“The goals we conceded were definitely through our lack of experience in understanding moments and also bad decision making, playing out when possibly it should’ve been avoided or needed to be avoided, we turned it over and they scored, it was like schoolboys’ errors. It’s a men’s competition and you get punished and we got punished. We gave them two goals.
“In saying that, their keeper had a decent game, denying some good opportunities in the first half. I was happy with the boys in the way they came out, stayed in the fight, were relentless in trying to get a goal back, which they did, but it was probably too little, too late.”
NPL2 West 2019 Round 7
Melbourne Victory 1 (Yazid Said 73′)
Moreland City 2 (Osman Kose 42′, Christopher Cristaldo 51′)
Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton (gk); Daniel Aye, Aaron Anderson, Benjamin Carrigan (c), Aydin Mustedanagic (Rahmat Akbari); Thierry Iradukunda; Stefan Ristic, Birkan Kirdar, Brandon Lauton (Thierry Iradukunda); Jack Palazzolo, Yazid Said.
Victory’s under-20s returned to winning ways by beating Moreland City 5-0.