The Republic Strikes Back
Anders Not Enough
The unlikeliest of braces by sensible Swedish defender Anders Fredgård
was overturned by Team Singapore, who ran out 3-2 winners thanks to ex-Grilled midfielder Aznan Noor Yadah. It was probably a fair reflection of the game as Grilled were always playing catch up, caged as they were into a defensive mentality.
Grilled had good reason to go for the win against Team Singapore, having just beated them 4-1 last week, but the coach appeared to be saving his resources for another day by resting van Liere and ordering his players to focus on keeping the opponents out.
This tactic appeared to be coming off superbly, as Grilled found themselves two-nil up against all odds by the 33rd minute. Having effectively nullified the game, the Grilled midfield made a break for it in the 25th minute against a frustrated Team Singapore. Taken by surprise, the hosts couldn't get enough bodies behind the ball in time, and fell prey to a Fredgård cannonball.
As if once were not enough, Fredgård stayed upfield after a corner kick and knocked in a second off a takraw-style shoulder-high kick eight minutes later, leaving all the other players stunned. Martinsson was first out of the spell, and the rest of the Grilled team wasted no time in piling on the unfortunate hero.Dimitri Simon
left his mark on the game, and fellow forward Syamsul bin Md Johadi, when he went studs first into Syamsul's shin while helping out on defence. That led to a booking for Simon, and a substitution for Team Singapore as the untried Mohd Satar bin Mohamed came in.
It was a dream start for Mohd Satar, as he had been on the field for barely two minutes when Jani Tegelberg sent a good pass towards him. There was still a lot to do, but Mohd Satar astounded the crowd with a first touch that put Bona out of it, before putting the ball just out of Sulaiman's reach.
Encouraged by this good omen, Team Singapore levelled the scores soon after half-time, Greek striker Vaios Rodostoglou weaving his way past the Grilled defence when it looked smarter to pass. Kek-Tjiang arrived in time to get a foot in the way of Rodostoglou's strike, but a second too late.
Now really excited, Mohd Satar asked a bit too much of the referee when he threw himself over Fredgård in a blatant attempt to earn a penalty. No referee could possibly have been taken in by that, and Mohd Satar's insistence only brought a booking on himself.
No matter, as a spectre from Grilled's past came to haunt the Birds. Aznan Noor Yadah, who cost Team Singapore S$5.7 million after stints with Stockholm IK and lcfc, sped towards Sid with the poise that has long been his hallmark, having just got free of old teammate Kek-Tjiang. Sid was no match for the wily Aznan's trickery, and Aznan followed up with a finish to match. Out of respect for his old club, he didn't take too much pleasure in the goal, though.
Rough play saw stand-in goalie Li Heng Meng hit the deck after Simon backed into him, but fortunately for Team Singapore he was not badly injured. The home team might have added some gloss to the scoreline when Jue Shiu-Fai tirelessly worked his way from one end of the pitch to the other, and only a flying catch by Sulaiman kept his missile of a shot out.