Birds Finish Fifth
Simon Bids CFC Farewell
Grilled didn't break a sweat in defeating already-relegated Codingin 3-0, with both sides seeing little relevance in the fixture. Grilled could have finished sixth had Chemistry won, but Team Singapore surprised the Singapore Cup holders with a 1-4 away win to decide Grilled's fate.
The fans stayed away from the match after disappointing defeats to Chemistry and Herron in the previous weeks, with Codingin hardly the biggest of draws. Grilled were however determined to make a statement, and indeed the spirit in the team was completely different from those two failures.
Codingin were not about to make it easy for Grilled, though, and played a defensive 4-4-2, depending on Hendrik-Jan Boroffka as their main offensive outlet. This was in direct contrast to the season opener where Codingin attacked Grilled's 4-5-1 at St James Park, a fixture which Codingin won 3-1.
A repeat was hardly on the cards with Codingin not having won a single league match since then, even if Grilled were not in the best condition either. The visitors were content to defend in depth and allow long-range strikes, but with sharpshooters like Martinsson and Sid in the Grilled side, that proved a risky proposition. Sid clearly showed his intent with an early twenty-five metre effort that was kept out only by the crossbar.
Spirig then rode his luck when he made a horrible tackle from behind on Månsson, but the referee was in a forgiving mood and let him off with a yellow card. Repentant, Spirig redoubled his efforts in midfield, and a particularly potent run down the left touchline by the Swiss lad saw him swing a tasty cross in that Martinsson gobbled up.
Grilled lost some of their fire after taking the lead, and the lack of their former urgency let Codingin back into the game. Tenacious play by their midfielders allowed them to retain the ball and feed Månsson, who was standing off the last man, but Sulaiman closed the gap between himself and the striker rapidly and was fast enough to get a foot in the way.
Underwhelming Belgian striker Dimitri Simon
then showed some promise for the next campaign, when his instincts led to a second goal for Grilled. On seeing Martinsson tussle with Birgersson for possession in the penalty area, he correctly guessed that Birgersson would make a clearing pass to his partner, and got there ahead of Lucchese. With little time, Simon settled for a speculative volley that ended up to be too hot for Panasevich to save.
Simon then added a third soon after, after a traditional build-up in the middle that climaxed with Paullin's lucky flick-on. With the win guaranteed, Grilled engaged in some languid passing in their own half to while away the final minutes, with each pass greeted with an empathic cheer by the mostly appreciative crowd.