Stalwalt Division Five club StAdE WiNNiE FC's previous performances made Grilled uneasy enough to field a close to full strength side in their Cup meeting. Only junior strikers Mohd Firdaus bin Yaacob
and Ivaylo Mirchev
could be said not to be S-league quality, and the hosts understandably sucuumbed, though in good grace.
Most of Grilled's players appeared rather shy when their WiNNiE counterparts formed a guard of honour as they took to the field. "Wah, I haven't experienced this despite playing in the Singapore Cup finals and the Hattrick Masters," Quah Han Kok
was heard to remark audibly. "Paiseh, lah."
WiNNiE went into the game with a perfect record in this season, with six wins out of six. Their league opponents have been particularly helpless against them, conceding 22 goals without reply in the three league games so far. Grilled were somewhat a different proposition though, and key attacker Hidde van Liere
duly snapped Yip Leong Ho's run of over six hours without conceding a goal with a flashing volley.
Despite Grilled's arguably strongest defensive trio being called into action, WiNNiE's plucky strikers still made themselves a real nuisance, running their hearts out. Sulaiman was not pleased when his centerbacks were caught napping in the 38th minute, allowing 20 year-old Bolivian striker Simón Reiswig to take him out with an angled chip. How the crowd celebrated that one!
Just a week after recovering from a minor injury, van Liere's knee took another painful knock when the strong-tackling Bert Nellemann slid into his path. Grilled's followers were unhappy at the Dutchman having to hobble off, but were cheered up as their side's frontmen combined for a quickfire two goals in the five remaining minutes of the half.
That stunned the WiNNiE team which had hoped to take a level score into the break, and they posed rather less of a threat in the second half. The hosts were desperate to regain parity, but leaving their back door unlocked and inviting the likes of Han Kok onto them didn't seem wise either.
The choice was made for them as Grilled got in the mood for offense, and Yip rescued his team from suffering two certain-looking goals off Han Kok and Mirchev with his reflexes. Dani Spirig
was also denied by a whisker as he sneaked in a cannonball of a right-footer from way outside, though in his case it was the woodwork that did the job.
WiNNiE's stout resistance finally gave way in the 69th minute, as the teenaged Dou Yih Lin crossed the fine line between shielding the ball and impeding an opponent's movements when in his own penalty area. There were groans when the referee considered his options and pointed to the spot, and Sid wasn't about to be generous as he wanted his first goal of the season.
Ødegaard continued to build his growing reputation as a creative force down the right, and he spotted Han Kok's run well enough to tap the ball up at just the right time for him to take a whack at it. It became a flashy assist from merely a flashy pass, as Han Kok sent it whistling right into the top corner.