A Total Zero
A subdued, undersized crowd of 34000; A dark, gloomy sky; A former giant in adminstration heading towards relegation; An uninspired ninety minutes of soccer than spawned two chances worth of the name. Could it get any duller than that?
Grilled entered the contest hoping to squeeze three points from a totally unmotivated Retired Eleven side, but ended up on the defensive end for most of the first half as their own players appeared only to be going through the motions. Retired for their part were out of ideas, and the match bogged down in midfield, with the footballers making the odd interception to spice things up.
Retired should really have taken the lead when Avramidis, so often Grilled's bane in the past, got a free header from Yin Van-Phuoc's cross to the near post. Even the Greek legend was far from his best, though, and what should have been a sure goal in years past fell tamely in from of Sulaiman, who gladly smothered it.
That was the measure of a staid opening forty-five minutes, and when the second half restarted to the overly optimistic strains of classical music performed by a local band. The mood was typified by ex-Grilled favourite and now Retired Eleven mainstay Au-Yong Siu-Yue taking Paullin's legs from beneath him in the 72nd minute cynically. Not daunted by the caution given to his teammate, Gao Po sun then made a striker's tackle on Sid after losing the ball, earning his own yellow card.
Martinsson then created the best chance of the game when his inswinging corner was helped on to the far post by Fredgård's intelligent glancing header. Jie Siong, who had been a poor imitation of van Liere for the majority of the game, could have been the hero had he directed his flick inches to the left, but alas, he hit the post.
After that false alarm, the match managed to peter off even more, and eventually limped to a halt after a tortuous ninety-three minutes. By then, all except the most die-hard had abandoned all pretense of interest, and the troops filed miserably off the field to unfeigned indifference.