Melbourne Victory’s six-match unbeaten run was ended after a 3-0 loss to a clinical Werribee City in the NPL2 West on Sunday.
Victory had the better of the early chances in wet and windy conditions at Galvin Park, only to fall behind to a Liam Brian goal just before half-time.
Werribee struck twice more after the break through Lisandro Paz and Jake Butler, handing Victory its first defeat since May.
Victory almost opened the scoring through Jack Palazzolo, who cut inside from the left before curling just wide from the edge of the area.
The visitor created two more great chances just after the half-hour mark, Nuh Sehavdic having an effort cleared off the line before Palazzolo had a low shot saved after being played in by Brandon Lauton.
Instead, Werribee broke the deadlock, Brian getting on the end of a cross from the right to tap in.
Werribee enjoyed the better of the second half, doubling its lead in the 58th minute, Paz tapping in at the back post.
Yazid Said had a strike deflected wide for Victory in the 62nd minute before Butler made it 3-0 with a fine finish from inside the area.
Victory pushed in the closing stages, but was unable to find a way back into the encounter.
Head coach Gareth Naven’s post-match thoughts
“In the first 30 minutes our energy was good, I thought what we need to do better was recognise quickly what the opposition are doing, think about the strategies we’ve worked through the week in regards to switch play and how we get the ball quickly to switch play and back ourselves with that concept when we’re practicing it during the week.
“We tend to look like, if we can’t do things we go back to a default setting where we just try to survive in an area we’re trying to survive in, instead of getting on the front foot, attacking, sticking to the plan because the plan works. I just thought our players need to get better at executing a plan and that plan was switch play, take the ball out of pressure and hurt them on the other side. The evidence showed when we did that we got crosses into the box and we looked dangerous.
“Our players need to do it more often and that’s them understanding the match again, playing our role. Playing your position to help the team achieve these sort of strategies are important, we didn’t do that well at all and we needed more people to perform which didn’t happen either and obviously we spoke about that at full-time and those people know that team effort is required every game, not sometimes, and at the moment there’s more sometimes.”
NPL2 West 2019 Round 20
Werribee City 3 (Liam Brian 41′, Lisandro Paz 58′, Jack Butler 75′)
Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Victory: Branko Skocic (gk); Andrew Visciglio (Daniel Aye), Matthew Bozinovski (Aaron Anderson), Benjamin Carrigan (c), So Nishikawa; Jack Morton, Thierry Iradukunda; Liston Diaz (Yazid Said), Brandon Lauton, Jack Palazzolo; Nuh Sehavdic.
Victory’s league-leading under-20s were held to a 1-1 draw by Werribee City.