Missed opportunities and a Melina Ayres brace was all it took to unravel Canberra United's W-League campaign, as Heather Garriock's side fell out of finals contention for the third straight season.
Melbourne Victory knocked United out of the finals race with a clinical 3-0 win at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday.
Canberra have now conceded 15 unanswered goals in their past four games, going 378 minutes without finding the back of the net.
It leaves Garriock's outfit just two matches to rectify their season, but the fourth finals spot is now mathematically out of their reach.
"We're just gutted. I want us to win and the team wants us to win, but we just weren't good enough," Garriock said.
"We weren't converting our final passes, especially in that first half and we were allowing them opportunities.
"We competed well in the first 30 minutes and executed our game plan but the moment we conceded ... It's like we don't believe in ourselves and then concede very quickly.
"We drop our heads and don't know how to collect ourselves back up, we've worked on that."
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Canberra's defence held strong early in the match and neither team were able to have effective possession until Melbourne drew first blood.
Darian Jenkins' rapid runs down the right broke down United's defence and her flawless cross in the 31st minute led to Victory's opening goal.
The 25-year-old forward charged down the far side and struck the ball across the face of goal, for Melina Ayres to put away.
It seemed as though Elise Thorsnes would strike back just minutes later before her cut back fell short of finding Aoife Colvill. It was a chance United would be left to rue as Melbourne doubled the margin with an Ayres brace in the 38th minute.
Garriock opted to inject Olivia Price into the fold following the main break and moved captain Nikola Orgill to leftback in a bid to stop Jenkin's line of supply.
But the chance of a second-half comeback began to wither as Natasha Dowie put the margin out of reach with a late header.
"We all agreed our character needed to take over and we could really get back into the game," Garriock said.
"I thought we had several opportunities to be able to convert. We could have got a goal in the first five or ten minutes of the second half but we just weren't clinical.
"The defining thing [on Sunday] was to be clinical. [Melbourne] were clinical.
"Both those chances [in the first half] were half chances, I thought Melina put them away exceptionally well. We couldn't get back in the second half and we weren't clinical, we missed opportunities.
"We haven't scored in four games. It's not that we're not creating opportunities, we had half a dozen opportunities in that second half."
MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 (Ayres 31m, 38m, Dowie 76m) bt CANBERRA UNITED 0.