Melbourne Victory suffered a 2-0 loss to Brunswick City in the NPL2 West on Saturday.
Goals in either half from Nicolas Gonzalez and Stefan Ristic at Dunstan Reserve secured the host’s win.
Victory struggled to create many chances away from home, although it built into the clash in the second half.
Brunswick enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes and led at half-time thanks to Gonzalez, who tapped in the opener at the back post.
Victory managed to play through Brunswick’s press more often in the second half.
It went close to an equaliser in the 69th minute, when substitute Brady Quinn, 18, fired over the crossbar after a pass from 16-year-old attacker Liston Diaz.
But the host sealed its win with 15 minutes to play, Ristic tapping in a rebound after Ali Turgut struck the post.
Head coach Gareth Naven
“I was really happy with the players, with their effort today, the way they approached the game. It was a tough game today. I thought Brunswick was really intense on a smaller pitch, makes sense for that sort of team to press hard and they did all game to be fair to them.
“It tested us in tight, on a surface that was at times difficult, and still trying to attempt to play. Sometimes there were moments, but most of the time we were trying to pick the right football moment to play. We’ve been doing a little bit of work on some build-up play, which they tried to implement. I think it was important for them that today the effort was really good, really happy for them in that, comparing to last week, I thought they did really well.
“We need to get better at our first touch and deal with the pressure that the opposition gave us today and at times we made some silly mistakes. It’s something to work on and get better at and maybe at the same time, just some moments in the game where we possibly overplayed a bit which we got ourselves in a bit of trouble, but all in all an opportunity to learn from it. I thought that the players’ effort, you could tell in their faces they were doing their best. We had some half-chances that maybe we could take a little bit earlier rather than an extra touch, which enables teams to catch you, but overall I was happy with their performance.”
Victory’s under-20s recorded a 5-0 win over Brunswick City.
NPL2 West 2018 Round 18
Brunswick City 2 (Nicolas Gonzalez 38′, Stefan Ristic 75′)
Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton (Majak Mawith); Andrew Visciglio, Benjamin Carrigan (c), Aaron Anderson, Luke Goulding; Maker Maker, Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou; Liston Diaz (Nicholas Sette), Brandon Lauton (Brady Quinn), Yazid Said; Jack Palazzolo.
Victory has another away game in Round 19, visiting Nunawading City on Sunday, July 1.