Melbourne Victory was left to rue a slow start as it suffered a 4-0 loss to Moreland Zebras in the PlayStation 4 NPL2 West.
Amir Osmancevic netted twice and Daniel Petrov also struck in the opening nine minutes at Epping Stadium on Saturday.
Despite an improved display thereafter, Victory – which had eight 17-year-olds in its squad – conceded another when Regsan Watkins scored early in the second half.
Victory head coach Gareth Naven lamented his team’s costly start.
“Eight minutes, 25 seconds, we’re 3-0 down. The game is finished. Against men there’s probably no return,” he said.
“We’ll probably look at the video and there may be some good patches of play, but at the end of the day we’re 3-0 down in eight minutes. It doesn’t give you much of a chance of coming back.
“They managed the game quite well in regards to keeping the pressure on, keeping on top of that, didn’t really drop off as much and they played fairly direct football.”
Victory’s poor start saw it fall 3-0 behind inside nine minutes.
Osmancevic got on the end of a drilled cross to make it 1-0 before doubling his team’s advantage with a finish into the bottom corner following a long pass.
Petrov added another for the Zebras soon after, his 20-yard effort beating Victory goalkeeper Majak Mawith.
Victory settled and controlled possession for the rest of the half, with Pierce Waring twice going close.
The forward struck the crossbar from 20 yards before curling another effort over.
The Zebras added a fourth early in the second half as Watkins finished clinically into the bottom corner from an angle.
Earlier, Victory’s under-20s returned to winning ways by beating Moreland Zebras 3-1.
Victory is back in action with a clash against Richmond on Friday, June 16.
PlayStation 4 NPL2 West 2017 Round 18
Melbourne Victory 0
Moreland Zebras 4 (Amir Osmancevic 3’/5′, Daniel Petrov 9′, Regsan Watkins 48′)