Sydney FC saw their Asian Champions League challenge suffer a huge setback after they were outclassed by Japanese side Kashima Antlers 3-0 at Sydney Football Stadium.
Missing the influential Nick Carle and David Williams, the hosts were floored by goals either side of the interval by Takuya Nozawa and Gabriel before Shinzoh Kohrogi added a third late on.
The result leaves Sydney with two points, three behind Kashima and Suwon Bluewings, but facing the prospect of playing their final three games away from home.
Nozawa brought a drab first-half to life in the 41st minute. The midfielder found Kohrogi in the Sydney box and the striker turned Stephan Keller before cutting the ball back to Gabriel. His shot was blocked by Liam Reddy, but Nozawa tucked away the rebound.
Gabriel scored Kashima's second goal six minutes after the break when he headed home Nozawa's cross before Kohrogi put in the third during injury time to complete a miserable evening for Sydney.