Quah Qua Non
Back To Winning
Grilled snapped their league losing streak against bottom side Shingen's Marauders, who boasted a tough mentality and a solid all-around game but just couldn't do enough. The return of Ahmed Abed-Sulaiman
to the starting lineup may also have had something to do with it, though Han Lik-Tsun
kept the captain's armband for now.
Looking slightly rusty after being out for a couple of months through injury, Sulaiman might have had a forgettable return had Shingen's Swiss winger Arthur Walther been more composed when Choo Tze Teck thumped in a pass behind all of Grilled's retreating defenders. With an open look at goal, Walther nevertheless opted for a delicate lob which breezed harmlessly across.
That third minute scare over, Grilled began to exert a grip on the proceedings, with Sid especially impressive as he dumped out his toolbox of tricks against his opposing number Simek. Truly there are few such flair players in the league operating from left-back, and one particularly fluid turn even brought scattered involuntary applause from the home fans.
Shingen's ex-U20 goalie Chua Puay Ming then committed a rare boo-boo, as he smacked a backpass right back at his last defender. Lee Jie Siong
was on hand to pounce on the rebound, but was forced wide by Chua's aggressive positioning and could only drag the ball across the face of goal with Rotteveel arriving too late to stick it in.
It was left to Malaysia forward Subri bin Ku Zainol
to break the deadlock, as he shouldered in ahead of Qing Chem-Tov while rolling the ball calmly beneath his soles, before lifting it smoothly over Chua's reach. Rotteveel occupying the other central defender helped too, as Grilled rediscovered the joys of playing with two strikers.
Urgency spiked with that goal, and Shingen's Anders Brink took it a little too far when he sent his studs into Jie Siong's hamstrings from behind two minutes later. That might have been good for a red, but Brink was spared with a yellow and a long talking-to as van Liere replaced Jie Siong on the left.
The Marauders paraded their stuff for a stretch, and a great roar went out when their Latvian striker Renats Vecvanags embarked on a mazy run on the left, first cutting in front of Sid and then taking the ball past Han to slam a brilliant effort into Sulaiman's bottom corner.
That brought an immediate response from the flagging Grilled team, as Quah Han Kok
's hardworking runs finally paid off when he was picked out by MacKinnon in a crowded last third. Sprinting in behind everyone else, Quah drew Chua out before expertly stroking the ball to one side to give Grilled the upper hand again.
Rotteveel appears to have some way to go before he regains the confidence he had at the start of the season, as he dallied with a shot opportunity after a hole opened up in the opposition defence, when he would have fired without a second thought a few weeks ago. This allowed Chua to compose himself, and in any case Rotteveel banged it hard against the upright. The Dutchman's pacing also became suspect, as he looked absolutely sluggish in a later race to a through ball.
At least that didn't affect the match much as Grilled eased back in control for the remaining time, with Subri the most likely to add a late third when he collected the ball magically in the 83rd minute. Overeagerness to shoot saw him balloon that badly, however.