Grilled Birds 3 - 1 mist
Mists Of Hope
Not Buried Yet
Grilled threw themselves a lifeline when they avenged the earlier 0-2 defeat to newcomers mist with a victory by the same margin on their home ground. To be honest, mist might have been said to be the marginally better side overall, but Grilled did the job when it mattered, and racked up an insurmountable three-goal lead before mist grabbed a consolation goal.
mist arrived at The Cooking Pot clad in their home red-and-black strip, anchored by their outstanding midfield partnership of Austrian Franz Schauer and Singaporean Liao Chung-Hong. It was Liao who fired the first salvo of the match, as he went for goal from a rather tight angle from a 14th minute free-kick, hitting the side-netting.
While mist held slightly more possession, Grilled looked the more threatening when they did attack, and Martinsson narrowly missed hitting the target in the 22nd minute. Fredgård, ploughing in late at a corner tried a similar volley after the half-hour mark, but too came up short.
The pair would not make the same mistake when they had their second chances, beginning with Martinsson in the 37th minute, who sped left and right in a crisscrossing dribbling move before Estonian custodian Kalmo Nuka with a slow but accurate shot to his right post.
Fredgård, though not exactly known for his striking prowess, followed Martinsson onto the scoresheet with a simple tap-in two minutes later. All of mist's hard work earlier was undone when they tamely let van Liere into the danger zone, and the Dutch winger was too good to forgive such an error. A square ball across the face of goal that no one dealt with was eagerly kicked in by the Swedish defender to double the lead.
Sid ended affairs right after the restart, as he skimmed a free-kick off the grass right below Nuka's nose - the bewildered goalkeeper nearly made up for his misjudgement by putting his leg in the way, only for the ball to slip in under in to add some unwarranted gloss to the scoreline.
Grilled's rhythm was fatally disrupted when their livewire Hidde van Liere
ran headlong into Schauer, when both of them went for the same high ball without looking. Schauer suffered a gash but was otherwise alright, while van Liere was out cold and had to be stretchered off, barely responsive. Bukhari Abd Hamid
was the man who came in, and Grilled reorganized themselves to soak up attacks instead.
It became one-sided as Grilled lost their way, and the nippy Mãdãlin Ilie darted behind Sid in the 74th minute, and would have got his shot off had Bona not gone sliding in. Aspenblom pushed Spirig over as the minutes ticked away for mist, and Portuguese winger Carlos Bastos didn't help matters for mist when he rushed a straight strike right at Sulaiman.
Secure in their threefold advantage, Grilled slackened off as the game entered its 80th minute, and were rightly punished when Tao Sunheng made the most of both Paullin and Sid's lackadaisical attitudes to waltz right past them and slot neatly between Sulaiman's legs. Then again, since the match was already decided, perhaps they were correct not to risk a meaningless sending-off, and indeed they walked off 3-1 winners.