A 10-man Young Roar proved their resilience with a gutsy 2-1 win over Brisbane City in their PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues Queensland clash at Perry Park today.
In a bruising encounter, the Young Roar played a man down for nearly 30 minutes after midfielder Logan Grillo was marched by referee Lara Smith for a second yellow card, both for rough-house tackles.
The win extended the Young Roar's unbeaten run to seven games.
Brisbane Roar Youth opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Stephen O'Neill won the ball in midfield and slipped a pass through the City defence to his brother Conor on the left.
With skills mirroring those used by Stephen for a long-range chipped goal just a week earlier, Conor floated his looping shot over City keeper Linus Schibler and into the far side of the net.
But the Young Roar only held the lead for only four minutes.
City's Koh Satake made a strong run down the left and crossed to Antonio Murray who turned the Young Roar defence and clinically slotted his shot into the net from close range.
The match became physical as the two teams wrestled for dominance and yellow cards were handed out to City's Satake and Roar's Grillo in the 33rd and 34th minutes after both were involved in heavy tackles.
Murray loomed as City's most effective attacking weapon but he was kept in close check by Young Roar defender Austin Ludwik, who was his side's best, particularly as he marshalled his under-manned team in the second half.
Despite losing Grillo in the 61st minute, the Young Roar nearly snatched the lead two minutes later when Sheldon Dais surged through the City defence but a brilliant last-man tackle by Kai Smith saved the day for the visitors.
Murray had the chance to add a second in 71st minute, after a fine pass from Luca Jannese, but shot wide under pressure from Dais who had tracked all the way back from the forward like to provide cover defence.
Although a man down and having the natural passing game stretched at times, the Young Roar grabbed the lead in unlikely circumstances.
A powerful kick clearance by Schibler hit the Roar's Sammy Sibatuara squarely in the chest about 35m our from goal and bounced gently in front of him.
Sibatuara made the most of the gift played a quick 1-2 with Dais to open up the scrambling City defence and then slotted his shot past Schibler from 3m out.
City had chances to level again and played the ball across the Roar goal twice just a minute after Sibatuara's goal. Murray also wiggled away from Ludwik to get two half chances late in the game but couldn't convert.
In the end, the Young Roar could have added a third goal when Schibler made an outstanding save to parry away a Stephen O'Neill shot just seconds before full time.
The Young Roar blooded several players from their Under-18 ranks to cover for the absence of captain Mitch Hore, striker's Nic D'Agostino and Abrahim Yango and midfielder Luke Pavlou who have been promoted to the club's first-team training squad.
Brisbane Roar Youth coach John Sime said he was happy with the contributions today of young players such as Thomas Miller, Liam O'Bryan and Dane Ingham.
"They were all nervous They realise this is a big step and the game is a lot quicker and a lot tougher," Sime said.
"I thought the three that went on the field today came through the game with full marks.
"This is just the beginning though. They will get more chances and we will be looking to blood more young players over the coming weeks."
In the earlier Under-18s, a late goal by Lachlan Strogusz gave the Roar all three points in a 3-2 win over Brisbane City FC.
PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues Round 14, Sunday 21 June at Perry Park
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 2 (C O'Neill 17', Sibatuara 73')
Brisbane City FC 1 (Murray 21' )
Brisbane Roar FC Youth: Crickmore, Walker, Crestani, Miller (O'Bryan 53'), S O'Neill, Grillo, Sibatuara (Ingham 81'), Gorry, Ludwik, C O'Neill (Lyvidikos 68'), Dais.
Substitutes not used: Chalmers, Leck
Yellow cards: Grillo 34'
Red cards: Grillo 61'
Brisbane City FC: Schibler, Jannese, Smith, Maguire (Koppen 78'), Poljak (Thang 74') , Biggins, Murray, Barnes, Leggett, Roderick (Chan 59'), Satake
Substitutes not used: Lugo, Chandler.
Yellow cards: Smith 11', Satake 33', Biggins 78'
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Lara Smith