A Besart Berisha-inspired Brisbane Roar have jumped five points clear on top of the A-League after winning in Adelaide.
A brace to Berisha gave Brisbane their third straight win, while fellow pace-setters Wanderers and Sydney FC both dropped points to make the Roar’s stay at the top more comfortable.
Berisha scored from the spot to cancel out Osama Malik’s headed opener and won the game by remarkably flicking in a winner lying on the ground.
Mulvey said his side were “very lucky” to win the open contest, but overall his side were worthy table-toppers.
“Today wasn’t one of our best performances but it’s very important to be able to win games sometimes when you’re not playing well,” he said.
Daniel McBreen put Central Coast back into the top six with a 1-0 win over Sydney FC.
Last season’s golden boot winner settled the contest with a back-heel flick in the 26th minute, with coach Phil Moss saying the veteran “looked back to the Macca of old” as the Mariners gradually re-found their championship winning form.
“We might be the championship club but we’re not the championship team yet,” Moss said.
Sydney struggled for dynamism without marquee duo Alessandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton but both should return next week.
The Wanderers drew at home to Melbourne Heart, who welcomed back Harry Kewell.
David Williams’ first half goal was cancelled out by the Wanderers’ Aaron Mooy but the Wanderers could not find a winner despite going close several times.
While Heart boss John Aloisi hailed his side’s spirit, Tony Popovic was left ruing missing chances.
“They came with a gameplan to really slow the game down from the outset and it just wasn’t to be today,” Popovic said.
In the A-League’s 1000th game, Nathan Burns fired Newcastle Jets to a 2-1 win at AAMI Park over Melbourne Victory.
Burns’ two goals either side of a James Troisi strike took the Jets third and left Victory inside the top six on goal difference alone.
Perth Glory coach Alastair Edwards sang the praises of Brazilian forward Sidnei Sciola after his side recovered from 2-1 down to defeat Wellington Phoenix 4-2.
Sidnei’s two goals bookended Michael Thwaite’s header and Adrian Zahra’s goal to save Glory from an embarrassing home defeat.
Phoenix – who scored through Stein Huysegems and Paul Ifill – are still without a win this term and may not enjoy the visit of the Roar next week.