Lee Does It
Grilled Birds returned from The Dome Of The White Lion with a valuable three away points, as they were outplayed for large swathes of the game by a strong Team Singapore side, who however did not take their chances. Tegelberg's dismissal after an hour didn't help them any, and young Jie Siong compounded their misery with the winning goal soon after.
Team Singapore faced Grilled with an orthodox 4-4-2, with now 33 year-old ex-Grilled favourite Aznan Noor Yadah plying the right wing. He was however not the best right winger on show, as the Dutchman who usurped his place at Grilled took just seven minutes to unload a magical pass between two opposition defenders. Dimitri Simon
might even have had time to applaud before prodding it past Chew Xiaolun.
A goal behind, Team Singapore slowly increased their influence on the game, and in the 18th minute central midfielder Yin Wenghae embarked on a roundabout run into the Grilled penalty area that was rewarded by a botched interception. With Sid helpless on the seat of his pants, Wenghae cut to the inside of Sulaiman before passing the ball over the goalline.
Han Kok stopped some hearts with an acrobatic roundabout kick from the edge of the area on a rare Grilled attack, and sent the ball sailing onto the roof of the net. The follow-up goalkick went almost all the way to Grilled's own penalty area, where Tegelberg fell after Bona brushed him across the face. It would have been a soft penalty to give, but the referee went one better and booked the unhappy Finn for simulation.
Sulaiman still had to be on his toes, with Rodostoglou fastest to react after a very hard shot left him on his knees with the ball bobbling in front of him. The charismatic Egyptian captain threw himself bravely at the ball, closing the angles so quickly that even Rodostoglou's lightning-quick toepoke could only send it right at the goalie. Play had to be paused as Sulaiman received treatment for a bloodied nose.
The hosts were frustrated by the referee once more when ex-Chinablack academy player Mohd Syamsuri bin Manaf dribbled into Kek-Tjiang in the six-yard box. Again, it looked a fifty-fifty case, and again the referee decided against granting the penalty. He was alert to Tegelberg pushing Han Kok aside after a disagreement in the middle of the pitch, however, and wasted no time in flashing a second yellow card, disgusting both Tegelberg and the home crowd.
Grilled contributed to the air of injustice hanging around the stadium, as they prevailed upon the at-times incomparable skills of van Liere to steal a second goal; An accurate long pass by Sid manufactured a one-on-one between van Liere and Hua Kok-Peng on the right wing, and even the famously speedy Hua had no defence against van Liere's trickery. Having gotten past his man, it was a simple matter of exploiting Jie Siong's parallel run down the other wing to claim the goal.
Team Singapore fought back, but could have even found themselves further behind as Spirig ballooned after getting a clear look at goal. Han Kok's crunching tackle on Aznan Noor Yadah further stoked Grilled's unpopularity for the day, though the affable Malay winger himself appeared quick to forgive.