Slump At Kel Sirlin
The cauldron of the 73200-seater Kel Sirlin was subdued by the rolling thunderstorms which plagued the north of Singapore, but the Birds were downed not by home support but by a badly-given goal in a very tight match. The commentator joked that Grilled's players were disadvantaged from the start as their green jerseys were hardly visible in the rain compared to Shadow Chaser FC's yellow outfits. Bad positioning was what really shackled the team, as Tuan-Mu and Pakpao stepped on each others' toes repeatedly, and plenty of passes were instinctively sprayed to the abandoned wings. Shadow kept pulling the ball out wide where they were at their strongest. The reinforced Grilled central defence held firm for half an hour, keeping main striker Ming Hsien-Feng at bay. Shadow oozed quality in all departments though, and eventually winger Chye Lien-Ying crossed into a packed penalty area, where the ball was met by incoming Cao Long two feet in front of the goalmouth for his sixteenth career goal. The score was never going to change much as both sets of players slipped and slid their way to half-time.
The second half was much the same story, but Grilled played more like a team as they adapted to the paucity of space in defence. With nine men choking up the defensive half and a wet ground, Shadow's normally quick midfielder Stefan Raskborg never got into the game. Grilled's players went at their opponents, and in the 83rd minute nearly capitalised on a forced mistake by Raskborg. The reliable Ma Dai-Lin
brought the ball up the right and hit a long one to a well-positioned Asher Stanton
, who blew Grilled's chance at a draw with a lousy header under no pressure at all.