Victory took a deserved lead after dominating the early stages, Ola Toivonen converting cooly from close range after clinical build play.

  But as they have too often recently, Melbourne took their foot off the gas and undoubted man of the match Cesinha struck back in phenomenal fashion, taking a half-volley off the turn from considerable range.

Then Victory fell apart against the ACL debutant South Koreans, shipping quickfire second half strikes to Hwang Soon-Min and Edgar da Silva to end in embarrassing fashion, 3-1 losers.

  The loss is the Big V's first ACL home loss since 2011 - an almost unbelievable stat given the club's oft-maligned inability to deliver in the showpiece tournament.

But that fact seems destined to continue, with J-League giants Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Chinese superpower Guanghzou Evergrande beckoning menacingly on the horizon.

Stand-in Victory captain Leigh Broxham was clear about the difference in quality between the A-League and ACL - Asian clubs pour money into their forwards.

"We knew what they were going to come and do and we still couldn't deal with it," Broxham said. "They didn't have too many shots but they took their opportunities - those big moments were the telling ones today.

"Cesinha scored a great goal, we can look at it as much as we want but it was a bit of quality and that's what you get in this competition.

"They invest in the players up front in the ACL. It's something I stress to the boys, they're going to have moments. But we'll get better as we keep going."