Melbourne Victory suffered a 4-0 loss to an Anderson Talisca-inspired Guangzhou Evergrande in the AFC Champions League.
Former Benfica attacker Talisca scored twice in the opening 10 minutes in the Group F clash at Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday.
Yang Liyu struck prior to half-time for the Chinese giant before an unfortunate Leigh Broxham own goal sealed Guangzhou's win, Victory losing its third game in the group.
After Talisca curled a 25-yard free-kick onto the post in the fourth minute, the Brazilian opened the scoring.
Gao Lin did the hard work down the left, creating space before his cross was met by the head of Talisca.
Talisca doubled his tally and his team's lead four minutes later, curling a wonderful strike into the top corner from 20 yards.
Former Tottenham and Barcelona midfielder Paulinho forced Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton into two saves as the host continued to push.
Victory started to settle as it put together some nice combinations in midfield, although Acton was needed again to deny Paulinho on the counter-attack.
Kosta Barbarouses almost pulled a goal back for Victory in the 36th minute, but the forward's low strike was pushed away by Guangzhou goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo.
However, the host struck on the counter-attack before the break, Yang powering a finish into the bottom corner after a pass from Paulinho.
Victory created a decent opening early in the second half, Keisuke Honda firing across the face of goal after a Barbarouses back-heel following James Troisi's clipped pass.
Barbarouses stung the palms of Liu again approaching the hour-mark, while Tyias Browning headed over for Guangzhou.
Guangzhou scored again after Acton parried a Talisca free-kick, the goalkeeper then denying Gao, only for the ball to bounce in off Broxham.
Player in focus
What they said – Carl Valeri
on the loss…
"At the end of the day, I think we made too many mistakes. Against a quality team, they punish you every time and you can't afford to make them. They just have that quality, especially in the front half of the field, where they can really take control of the game and even against the run of play they can punish you. I think we have to take this lesson and it's happened to us a couple of times. I think our style of football sometimes clashes but I think we could've been better definitely in our transition phase."
on having few chances…
"Sometimes it's a game when you play against a quality opposition. We came here, we tried to play our style of football, I think we weren't up to scratch personally and that's my opinion and there's a lot of things that we'll work on. We can take some positives from the game, but again there's a lot to work on. It's a shame because it's going to be very hard for us to get through to the next stage."
AFC Champions League 2019 Match Day 3
Guangzhou Evergrande 4 (Anderson Talisca 6'/10', Yang Liyu 42', Leigh Broxham 73' og)
Melbourne Victory 0
Guangzhou Evergrande: Liu (gk); Zhang, Browning, Gao Zhunyi, Park; Paulinho, He (Zhang Xiuwei 61'); Huang, Talisca (Tang 80'), Yang (Zheng 76'); Gao Lin (c).
Melbourne Victory: Acton (gk); Roux, Deng, Donachie, Brown; Valeri (c); Honda (Athiu 74'), Troisi (Kamsoba 67'), Broxham; Barbarouses, Toivonen (Lesiotis 75').
Yellow cards: He 21', Broxham 72'
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Tianhe Stadium
Victory has a short turnaround before its final home game of the Hyundai A-League regular season against the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, April 14.