Jedinak goal gives Villa early advantage

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak has once again risen to the occasion in a big-game after his header gave Aston Villa a slender 1-0 advantage over Middlesbrough in the Championship play-off semi-final at the Riverside Stadium.

Jedinak's well-placed header from a corner gave Villa a deserved lead in the 15th minute and they held on comfortably and now head in to Wednesday's (AEST) second leg at Villa Park confident of booking their spot in the Wembley final.

The visitors came close to adding a second towards the end of the first half when Robert Snodgrass struck the post.

Middlesbrough applied plenty of pressure late in the game but could not create that clear-cut chance to get themselves back in the contest.

The pair meet again for the right to play Derby County or Fulham -- who are 1-0 down after the first leg -- in the Wembley decider on May 26.