Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat acknowledged a “lack of composure” as a key factor in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Sydney FC on Saturday night.
Mitch Austin gave Victory the advantage at half-time but the visitors might have led by more had Besart Berisha converted his penalty or Marco Rojas capitalised on an earlier chance.
“We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up at half-time,” Muscat told Fox Sports.
“We controlled the game in the first-half and it was just our lack of composure.
“We created a lot of space, which gave us a lot of time on the ball and we just lacked a little bit of composure.
“Having said that, we created a number of chances. And not strikes from distance or balls into the box from distance, into a challenge, that everyone gets excited by.”
Victory’s defeat is their first loss to Sydney in 10 meetings and their second of the competition’s opening five rounds.
Muscat, who felt David Carney should have been penalised for handball in the lead-up to Sydney’s equaliser, pointed to Austin’s performance as one of several reasons for optimism.
“I thought Mitch was outstanding in the first half. He was the best player on the park in the first half,” Muscat said of the 25-year-old winger.
“There were a lot of positives for us to take out of it and soon the decisions will turn our way.”