Melbourne City suffered its heaviest loss of the A-League Women season on Saturday afternoon, going down 3-0 away from home to Sydney FC.
The hosts led 1-0 after 45 minutes and put a further two into the back of the net in the second half as City struggled to create chances throughout the contest.
Dario Vidosic made just the one forced change to his XI from last time out, with Chelsea Blissett replacing Naomi Chinnama after the young defender suffered a hamstring injury on the training pitch during the week.
Karly Roestbakken missed a second consecutive match as she continues to deal with foot soreness.
Starting XI: 1. Sally JAMES (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 14. Katie BOWEN, 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 7. Julia GROSSO, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.
Substitutes: 30. Charlotte HREHORESIN (GK), 20. Caitlin KARIC, 21. Isabella ACCARDO, 24. Daniela GALIC, 25. Darcey MALONE.
It was nearly a dream start for City as it almost found the back of the net in just the third minute.
A lovely ball from Kaitlyn Torpey on the right caught the Sydney defence off-guard as Hannah Wilkinson was able to get on the end of it, but the New Zealand international’s cutback didn’t make it past the ‘keeper.
It quickly descended into an end-to-end type contest, with City’s defence holding up strongly under plenty of pressure.
Katie Bowen put in an important block in the 11th minute to deny Madison Haley the opener.
Unfortunately for City though, it would find itself behind in the 27th minute when Sally James could do little about Sarah Hunter’s strike from outside of the box.
City’s best chance of the half would come just before the break, with in-form number 10 Rhianna Pollicina rattling the crossbar with a deadly strike from outside the box.
If the first half almost saw a dream start, the beginning of the second was certainly a nightmare.
Cortnee Vine doubled the hosts advantage just two minutes into the half with a composed finish after getting played 1-on-1 with James.
Despite the best efforts of the likes of Pollicina and Leah Davidson in midfield, City struggled to create chances against a Sydney side that was at the top of its game.
Madison Haley added a third for the hosts in the 71st minute as the clash ultimately ended 3-0.
City will return to AAMI Park next Saturday afternoon, although it will technically be the away team when it faces Western United.