John Aloisi revealed he was "deflated" after back-to-back semi-final losses for Brisbane Roar and declared Melbourne Victory can win the A-League grand final.
A second-half header from Besart Berisha saw Victory overcome Brisbane 1-0 on Sunday, with Roar exiting the competition at the same stage as last year where they gave up a 3-0 lead to lose 5-4 in extra time to Western Sydney Wanderers.
Having missed out on the championship decider by a goal for the second year in a row, Aloisi was clearly hurting.
"We just weren't able to play our football that we've been playing," he said after the match at AAMI Park.
"That's the thing that I'm most disappointed about because you can win or lose football games but we didn't even play the football that we know we can play, and that we've been playing. But you have to give credit to Victory as well.
"I'm just deflated because I wanted to make the grand final and all the boys are as well."
Roar struggled to get out of their own half for long periods of the semi-final in Melbourne, with Victory's high press causing the visitors plenty of problems.
But for some rusty finishing from various Victory players and good work by Brisbane goalkeeper Jamie Young, the hosts could have won by more.
The Big V face Sydney FC in the grand final on Sunday having lost all three regular season meetings with the Sky Blues, who have broken numerous records on their way to the Premier's Plate.
Despite Sydney's dominance in 2016-17, Aloisi insisted they won't have the grand final all their own way.
"Victory have definitely got a chance," he said.
"When you've got players like Berisha that will step up and score goals in important games, of course you've got a chance of winning.
Besart Berisha, Melbourne Victory
"It'll be a good final - the two sides that finished top two, so you have to say they're the best two sides this season.
"I wouldn't say it's a given that Sydney are going to win. Even though they've beaten Victory three times, they've been close games.
"So I think Victory have got a good opportunity."
Sydney and Victory have twice previously met in grand finals, with each team having triumphed once.