Melbourne Victory threw away a 2-0 lead at half-time to lose 4-2 against reigning Asian Champions Guangzhou Evergrande in a devastating second half blitz.
Defender Pablo Contreras put in the shift of his Melbourne career in the first 45, opening the scoring after 36 minutes and putting his body on the line to keep the Chinese Super League side at bay.
Leigh Broxham extended the lead five minutes later as Victory dominated the sluggish home side across the park going into the break.
But Guangzhou's wily veteran coach Marcello Lippi rallied his side and reshaped their formation for the second half with sizzling results.
New Italian signing Alessandro Diamanti turned the match around in the final 45, scoring twice as Evergrande put Victory to the sword.
Huang Bowen started the fightback with a goal just before the hour mark with a scorching long range effort. Diamanti struck a few minutes later before Brazilian Elkeson put the Chinese side ahead.
Diamanti put it well beyond the A-League side with a fourth in the final minutes of the game when he applied the polish to a hypnotic build up, completing what proved to be a masterclass in regrouping and recovery.
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