The reigning A-League champions came back from 2-0 down, but still bowed out as Nathan Millgate sealed the deal with 10 minutes to go, to put APIA in the final eight of the cup.

A dejected Victory skipper was honest about the team’s attitude going into the game.

“Our approach to the game was probably wrong," Valeri told FourFourTwo post-match.

"I think we underestimated APIA and credit to them, they showed us that desire wins games and not just talent.

“When you play these games, it’s the team who is willing to fight more that generally wins and they wanted to fight more than us.

“It’s disappointing for us and I don’t use that word very often, but it is. It’s a disappointing step backwards. We’re out of the cup we wanted to win for ourselves to prepare for the A-League season.

“It’s a harsh lesson and one we must learn from. Knowing these guys and the people they are, I know we’ll grasp it and not let go of it. We’ll remember it every time we go out to training and into the next game.”

Valeri wasn’t giving anything away in what coach Kevin Muscat said to the playing group post-match, but said he was leaving the mentoring up to him.

“It’s not my position to give anyone tough love, It’s Musky’s position to tell us what he feels,” he said.

“I think we’re all a bit down. It’s not right to feel that way now, we probably should’ve been reacting during the game.

“At the end of the day, I’m not shocked about what happened because if you don’t show up and don’t play with the right desire, you’re not going to win a match of football. That goes from youth to seniors to the World Cup… you don’t rock up, you don’t win.

“That’s the beauty of the cup, they produced on the day and to be honest, if we ended up winning, it would’ve been lucky.”