AIS wins again

A commanding second-half performance from the AIS against the Melbourne Victory was enough to secure just its second National Youth League win of the season at Epping Soccer Stadium on Saturday following its triumph last week over Newcastle.

A commanding second-half performance from the AIS against the Melbourne Victory was enough to secure just its second National Youth League win of the season at Epping Soccer Stadium on Saturday following its triumph last week over Newcastle.

Another lively attacking display from Kamal Ibrahim, who scored two of the side's goals, provided the framework for an impressive 3-1 victory away from home.

Ibrahim stepped up to the penalty spot in the first half but failed to convert after Nathan Elasi had headed the home side into the lead.

However, after 33 minutes Ibrahim curled a delightful 25-yard free kick into the top left corner to level the scores at 1-1 before putting the AIS ahead 15 minutes after the break with his second - a simple tap-in.

Three minutes before time Trent Sainsbury compounded Melbourne's misery, hammering home a loose ball to make it 3-1.

Ibrahim was the hero, adding his fourth goal in two weeks to lead the AIS to another much-needed win and provide some confidence after a difficult season.

Melbourne, with the services of Glen Moss in goal and Surat Sukha, had the better of the opening exchanges and took the lead after 14 minutes with Nathan Elasi nodding the ball home from close range after the home side had won a corner.

Unfortunately though for Melbourne, the celebrations were short-lived with the referee disallowing the goal following a hold in the box, despite the home side's protests.

Melbourne continued to fire in long balls from midfield and that approach yielded its reward after 22 minutes.

Elasi latched onto Aziz Behich's through ball and darted in from the left to slash a left-foot shot across the keeper's palms and into the top corner of the net.

Just a minute later the referee gave the AIS a golden chance to get back into the contest when he awarded a penalty for a foul on Stephen Domenici.

Ibrahim stepped up but put it right in the sweet spot for Moss, mid-height and with little pace to allow an easy save for the experienced keeper.

After the missed penalty, the AIS seemed to grow in confidence, Ibrahim dispatched a beautifully-struck free kick and from then on the away side created a series of chances as Melbourne began to lose its way.

After half-time Ibrahim teamed up with Domenici, who also had a great game, to put the AIS ahead and from then on the visitors began to press further.

Just moments before the second goal Moss had to pull out a fingertip save from Domenici and saved the Victory's blushes after the 70th minute with a double save, again from Domenici.

And Sainsbury added a deserved third, deep into a rather aimless second half from Melbourne, with an easy put-away to cap off back-to-back wins for the AIS.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Elasi 22) AIS 3 (Ibrahim 33, 60, Sainsbury 87)