The reigning champions lost 1-0 to relegation-threatened Shonan Bellmare and now sit in seventh place, having played four more games than their nearest rivals.

It was the first time in three months that Marinos failed to score in the league. But there had been chances to find the back of the net throughout Wednesday evening’s game.

Brazilian forward Erik found himself bearing down on goal after dispossessing Shonan goalkeeper Kosei Tani, but his heavy touch took him too far wide and he was unable to get a meaningful effort on goal.

And just after the half-hour mark, Marcos Junior’s dipping strike from the edge of the box was tipped onto the crossbar by Tani.

But Postecoglou’s men were unable to make a breakthrough, and later went a goal down after Mitsuki Saito headed the home side in front on 62 minutes.

Despite pushing for an equaliser, including Takuyo Kida’s late chance with the last kick of the game, Marinos couldn’t find the back of the net, leaving its Greek-born Australian coach ruing his side’s attacking display.

“A disappointing result for us,” he said in an interview with Optus Sport after the game. “First half wasn’t great; I think both teams didn’t create much.

“Second half was a little better, we created some chances, but once they scored they obviously sat back defensively and made it difficult for us.

“We had three strikers up the front that just didn’t create opportunities [in the first half]. We changed it a bit in the second half and we looked a little more threatening.”

He continued: “We just needed to be a little bit more dynamic with our movement and our space.”

“And I thought we were in the second half, we created some good chances but you still have to score and we didn’t score.”

Next up for Postecoglou’s side is a home tie with Thomas Deng’s Urawa Red Diamonds on Saturday, before a midweek visit to Kawasaki Frontale ahead of a return to Asian Champions League action towards the end of the month.

Marinos, top of Group H with two wins from two, face Aaron Mooy’s Shanghai SIPG on Wednesday, 25 November, local time before a rematch with the Super League club three days later.