Melbourne Victory’s first international tournament has ended abruptly with a 5-0 loss to Japanese Nadeshiko league champion Okayama Yunogo Belle in the first round of the International Women’s Club Championship in Misaka, Japan.
Victory, which qualified for the tournament as the reigning Westfield W-League champion, was punished for a sloppy start when Manami Nakano converted a cross to open the scoring in the first minute.
An unmarked Saori Arimachi added a second just five minutes later before firing in a header in the 37th minute to complete her brace and hand the hosts a 3-0 lead at the break.
Coach Joe Montemurro introduced 17-year-old Beattie Goad at the start of the second half at the expense of Racheal Quigley, as Victory began to found some momentum in the early exchanges.
Lisa De Vanna set up Amy Jackson for a good sight on goal in the 49th minute, but the midfielder spurned her shot high and wide.
De Vanna then had her own turn to find Victory’s breakthrough in the 70th minute, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Victory registered seven shots in the second half but was ultimately made to pay for its inefficiency when Japanese star Aya Miyama struck Yunogo Belle’s fourth goal in the 75th minute.
Any hopes of a famous comeback were dashed seven minutes later when Nakano added her second and her side’s fifth.
Yunogo Belle now faces Arsenal Ladies in Tokyo on Wednesday for a spot in the final, while Victory will arrive in Melbourne midweek and has a week off to prepare for its W-League semi-final.
Victory will host the semi-final on the weekend of December 13-14, unless Canberra United defeats league leader Perth Glory by at least eight goals or Sydney FC downs Newcastle Jets by at least 10 goals (must score a minimum of 11 goals) in the final round of the W-League next weekend.
FULL TIME: Okayama Yunogo Belle 5 (Nakano 1’ 82’, Arimachi 6’ 37’, Miyama 75’) defeated Melbourne Victory 0 at Mimasaka Rugby and Football Stadium, Japan [HT: 3-0]
Melbourne Victory: 1. Brianna Davey (GK), 2. Hannah Brewer (3. Gulcan Koca 78’), 7. Stephanie Catley (captain), 15. Emma Checker, 23. Elli Reed, 5. Lauren Barnes, 8. Amy Jackson (6. Gema Simon 70’), 9. Racheal Quigley (16. Beattie Goad HT), 12. Ella Mastrantonio, 10. Christine Nairn, 11. Lisa De Vanna
Unused substitutes: 20. Cassandra Dimovski (GK), 4. Alex Natoli, 13. Caitlin Friend, 14. Tiffany Eliadis