Ulf Ulf Ulf
The Grilled juggernaut continued their run of steamrolling lesser opponents by dispatching another semi-pro team 0-6 without any trouble. Chinks did begin to show on Grilled's team of the future though, as naysayers' claims that Blissenbach and Siu-Yue had questionable defensive commitment were well-founded. Blissenbach didn't even bother to turn back when he gave the ball away with only Tuan-Mu between him and goal, and that the tough defender kept Rovers' skipper Gao Jia-Xian from scoring was little consolation.
Grilled were near flawless at the other end in contrast, and Rovers conceded in the 19th minute when Zhan Ju-Hau
freed a goal-hungry Ulf Hjortlind
. Ten minutes later, Joe Stern
followed up on his four goals in the previous Cup game with a smart off-the-ball run that caused Rovers' central defenders to panic. Goalie Yuji-n came out too late to cover, and Stern sent the high-bouncing ball sailing over him for the second. Grilled pulled their punches after that, and yet Hjortlind nearly contributed a third with a shot that shook the woodwork on the stroke of half-time.
The travelling contigent were treated to a Hobsonesque long shot from Hjortlind in the 57th, an uncommon sight after Tim Hobson
was dropped from the Grilled first team. That particular example came from twenty metres and went into the bottom corner. For Li Ze
, who looked at best a role-player in right midfield and increasingly unlikely to stay for long, his scrappy chested goal from a Hjortlind corner was his one saving grace - it was also his first ever competitive goal for Grilled. Joe Stern
then kept himself in contention for a place on the Cup top scorers' table with a reckless driving run. Defender Zheng Parke was not his equal that time, and his missed tackle let Stern chip it over Yuji-n. Grilled cowed the Rovers' centre-line badly, and Hjortlind got his third career hat-trick from a break in their concentration. Stern might have upped the final scoreline to seven with a stunner after cutting in from the flank, but he had no margin for error given the tight angle and struck side-netting instead.