Grilled Birds threw off the shock fifth-round exit at the hands of VIRTU FC on Wednesday with a three-nil win in the West derby over league leaders Bluedragon in front of a low crowd of 34285. This was their first ever win over the scary offensive outfit with Indonesian nationals Frangky Manaf and Edu Irvan, and national team inductee Gai Wai-Ming on the prowl. Grilled had always taken a defensive posture against Bluedragon's vastly superior weaponry, but this time Bakunin opted for attack as the best form of defense and completely shut out Bluedragon's front line.
Grilled yet again started out in heavy rainfall for the third game running, which prompted the wag of a commentator to ask if any of Grilled's sponsors supplied scuba equipment. Grilled didn't change over to a 4-5-1 formation this time and squeezed the opposition in the middle instead, pulling a masterful midfield performance out of the bag with all their regulars available - a side-effect of having no cup commitments. A pleasant surprise was the ability of Grilled's strikers to rough it up like defenders, as both Hjortlind and Kearney spent much time in midfield scrapping for the ball well. Bluedragon's Spanish midfielder Mercé Delgado del Rincon, one of the old men of the team at 32 years, got caught up in a small scuffle and got himself booked in the fourth minute and thereby suspended for the next Cup match. Shen Kek-Tjiang
may have been lucky to escape that time for his part in it. Zhan Ju-Hau
, ever ascendant in these sorry conditions, got a peek in the sixth minute, but accuracy was never his forte and he missed badly. Grilled's gameplan of sticking to their opposite numbers like flies was paying off handsomely, as the ageing Magnus Rolandsson did not fare well with tight marking. Ulf Hjortlind
did his main job as he got the better of Bluedragon's sweeper Fredrik Wennborn in the middle, slotting neatly past new Bluedragon goalie Dieter Dussler. Bluedragon's weak goalkeeping situation cost them as they sorely missed Sandu Drãghici, sold to FC KIPA for a million dollars, and his replacement Jamie Jeremies is still suffering from poor form. Karma caught up with Kek-Tjiang as he copped a yellow card for getting too close to Delgado for the referee's comfort.
Powered by the dependable Daniel Tellskär
, it was still one-way traffic for Grilled in the second half. Wilson Kearney
's free header from a long cross was tipped well by Dussler, but Hjortlind's version proved unstoppable as he nudged Dai-Lin's centre home in the 77th minute. Frangky Manaf, the much-decorated Indonesian U-20 and National striker, improved on his record against Grilled when he managed to actually finish the game, getting a solitary yellow for a two-footed challenge on Tuan-Mu; He got sent off in both previous meetings between the sides. American forward Wilson Kearney
received the long pass from the free-kick and blew past a lone Wennborn to up Grilled's lead to three, and that was how the game ended.