Roar hold off AIS

A 10-man Brisbane Roar have held on for a 3-2 with over the AIS in National Youth League action at the Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

A 10-man Brisbane Roar have held on for a 3-2 with over the AIS in National Youth League action at the Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

The Roar played a far superior brand of football, but a red-card challenge from overage player Matt Mundy - making his return from knee surgery - in first-half injury-time allowed the visitors to grab their second goal from the penalty spot and set-up an evenly fought second half.

Nicholas Fitzgerald continued to prove the worth of his signing to Brisbane, attacking masterfully in a best-on-ground performance and finishing with a well-deserved double.

Anthony Prior had both goals for the AIS and was a strong attacking presence for a side that didn't see much possession in good territory. Goalkeeper Paul Izzo was equally impressive, making a number of brilliant acrobatic saves to keep his side in the contest.

AIS left-back Riley Woodcock earned a needless second yellow card in the 89th minute to see the sides finish with even numbers.

In the first half, Brisbane were afforded far too much time and space in attack and the visiting back four seemed completely incapable of stopping the three-pronged attack of Fitzgerald, Rocky Visconte and James Meyer.

After making early inroads on the flanks, the Roar had the opener in the 10th minute playing through the centre, with midfielder George Lambadardis controlling at the top of the area and slotting past Izzo low and hard in the left corner.

But the lead lasted just two minutes before the AIS had their equaliser. Pouring down field, Prior pumped a firm right-footer past Matt Acton and then was first to the rebound after his initial effort went cannoning into the underside of the crossbar and back into play.

Brisbane continued to hold the ascendancy and at the 17th minute classy attacker Fitzgerald reclaimed the lead. Breaking free on the edge, the former Central Coast youth star cut back inside, leaving defenders in his wake and creating enough space to fire true.

Brisbane's third came on the 30th minute, with Fitzgerald again unstoppable, dribbling across the face of goal, threatening passes and penetration, before swivelling to fire left-footed into the corner.

Lambadardis had a chance to make it a first half double moments before the interval, but his unmarked first-time shot from with the area went booming over the crossbar, and then Izzo was forced to make another great save, with Visconte's shot curling towards the top corner.

But in first-half injury time the AIS found the fortune they needed. With Brisbane committed in attack, the visitors broke away on the counter and when Prior was in on goal for a one-on-one chance, Mundy came across, taking out the attacker, earning a red card and conceding a penalty, which Prior duly converted.

The AIS's one-man advantage allowed them to better compete in the second stanza, and the visitors made the Roar work hard to defend an onslaught of corners and free kicks.

Prior had a late chance to steal his side a draw, but under pressure from keeper and defender he couldn't hold his short-range effort down.

Brisbane:3 (Lambadardis 10, Fitzgerald 17, 30) AIS: 2 (Prior 12, 45 p)