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Feb 17, 2013

Brisbane keep AL finals hope alive

A maiden A-League goal by Steven Lustica and striker Besart Berisha's 33rd for the club helped take the heat off Brisbane's newly signed coach Mike Mulvey on Sunday.

Mulvey's two-year appointment on Friday didn't go down well with everyone, with the defending champions struggling to make the finals, but the 2-0 win over Wellington must have placated some.

A group chose to make their sentiments known on Sunday, waving a large white banner declaring "Mulvey Out".

The sign was confiscated by ground security in the second half which sparked Twitter outrage.

Playing just his fourth game for the Roar, Lustica was presented with a clear shot at goal in the 32nd minute following an incisive infield burst by Ben Halloran and some crisp short passing between veteran Massimo Murdocca and crafty German Thomas Broich.

Besart's goal early in the second half followed some careless ball control by rival Daniel Sanchez.

Despite playing without their leading goal scorer Jeremy Brockie, Wellington had numerous scoring opportunities to put the pressure back on Brisbane in the second half.

Each time they threatened, Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo was up to the task.

A loss to Wellington, who've not won in nine previous Suncorp Stadium appearances, would have ended Brisbane's season and further fired up critics surprised by Mulvey's appointment.

But Brisbane lifted themselves into seventh spot with a better goal difference than Melbourne Heart, both teams sitting two points out of the top six.

Wellington were first to put the ball in the back of the net in seventh minute when new striker Corey Gameiro, on loan from Fullham, headed past Brisbane keeper Michael Theo who'd been forced out of goal by a dangerous Tony Lockhead cross.

However the goal was disallowed by a touch judge with Gameiro found to have fouled Brisbane defender Jade North by pulling him down on the edge of the box.

Most of the action on goal in the first half came from Wellington and in particular Gameiro who continued to impress in his A-League debut testing Theo early and again in 25th minute with a low shot which almost got past the Roar keeper's outstretched right hand.

Mulvey praised the effort of his players backing up for their third game after their disappointing exit from the Asian Champion League in Thailand.

"We haven't given up on the season," said Mulvey.

"We're in a dog fight and there are still plenty of points to get."

AAP wh/gjw

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