Grilled Birds 5 - 3 mist
Four By Four
A fascinating barrage at the end of the first half lifted Grilled to a three-goal lead at the half-time whistle, when just moments ago their fans were staring at a one-goal deficit. mist chipped away but weren't able to make up the lost ground in the West derby, and an admittedly unlikely away victory at Chemistry will see Grilled eclipse their best-ever points tally in the S-League.
Already assured of third place, and with no hope of making it to second, relegation-threatened mist were understandably the more anxious of the two competitors to make an impact. Meeting Herron and Chemistry in the previous weeks had done nothing to aid mist's cause, but a result against Grilled would at least see them out of reach of All Stars Team come the final round of matches.
While most of the nation's attention was diverted towards the Herron-Chemistry supermatch to more or less decide the title's destination, over 80000 still made it to The Cooking Pot. The home support must have seen little cause for joy, as the best opportunities falling to the visitors despite there being nothing between the teams in terms of possession.
mist's No. 16 Carlos Bastos spoke of both Portuguese flair and the universal language of speed, as he teased Bona throughout the early exchanges. Spirig had to track back to help out Bona, no slowpoke enough, but Bastos managed to ghost past both of them and lay the ball in ZhangCai Yong's path. The local striker didn't bother Sulaiman, however, since he banged it a few metres wide of the mark.
Bastos continued his reign of terror, as van Liere looked strangely off-colour for Grilled in comparism. After half and hour had gone by, Bastos again tore past Bona and made his way into the penalty area. Fredgård forced him to pass the ball, but it was a good one to Henrik Aspenblom. The Swede leaned back a little to cushion a header low into the bottom corner as Sulaiman grabbed at thin air.
The home fans didn't get too worked up, seeing as how the match would ultimately mean little. They were to witness the full attacking potential of Grilled soon, though, as the chronically underperforming Dimitri Simon
chose his moment to shine. The Belgian burst past Chan How Wen in the 42nd minute and tapped it on to the grateful Martinsson, who finished off the sitter.
Those who left for the restrooms early must have kicked themselves when they returned, for Grilled raised their play a level and made the visitors wonder what had hit them - Simon became the beneficiary this time, as Spirig did the grunt work of muscling his way past defenders, leaving Simon to lunge in and collect the goal.
Kek-Tjiang then deepened the psychological wounds of young Serbian keeper Predrag Hristojevic, by pumping an absolute rocket of a strike into the roof of the net after a nervy kick-off was stolen by Simon. The next restart was immediately played back to the defence, but Grilled were by now in berserker mode, and van Liere charged a clearance down; It fell very nicely for him, and the Dutch winger executed his first decent cross of the game, which was matched by a very good flying header from Paullin for the fourth goal.
Having gone from 0-1 down to 4-1 up in four minutes, coach Alcántara instructed his men to take things easy in the second half, but Grilled added a fifth anyway. Simon hung out by himself on the right flank and beat his marker with a superb first touch right on the sidelines. After that, it was just a case of staying in front of the chasing pack to slip the ball under Hristojevic.
mist responded after a sloppy mistake from Sulaiman, who usually is steady in the air. This time, though, he flapped at a bread-and-butter cross from the impressive Bastos, gifting ZhangCai Yong to stick out his neck for the easiest of goals. Bastos was by some distance the most dangerous mist player of the day, and he racked up a hat-trick of assists when he thumped a low cross that Grilled's captain again could have done better against. As it was, Austrian midfielder Franz Schauer arrived behind Sulaiman to nick it in and improve their goal difference another bit.