Cheah Scalps Birds
Division Four high-fliers cantonat used every ounce of their passion to deliver an early exit to Grilled in the Singapore Cup, as Grilled just could not threaten the home side's goal despite edging possession and doing mostly the right thing. It may have been that an unfamiliar 4-4-2 did not allow Grilled's flair players to shine, or maybe cantonat were just the better team on the day.
The Grilled players knew that they were in for a barracking when Rotteveel was swamped by the opposing strikers from the kick-off, and cantonat came perilously close to scoring first when Jesper Landwald lifted a short cross smack into the middle of Grilled's six yard box. Beckman failed to collect it as he was blocked by his own defenders, and only Jie Siong's quick feet on the line prevented the ball from going over.
Grilled then distributed the ball intelligently for several minutes before MacKinnon lashed a pass to Subri in the box. Having taken a standard shielding stance to collect the pass, Subri fell over as Andrés Marcelo Andrada tried to go over him. The stands erupted as most of the home support were of the opinion that the Malaysian lost his footing far too easily, but the referee was adamant, and Sid thoroughly unflappable as he sent Finnish goalie Aki Smed the wrong way.
Cantonat came back within six minutes, as their fired-up players began winning the fifty-fifty contests all over the pitch. A raid with numbers down the right side set up ex-Thorocozzieq FC striker Lee Keong Wai nicely for a volley, which he dispatched past a blameless Beckman beautifully.
Temperamental winger Cheng Chee Seong then got into a confrontation with German defender Fabian Bona
after he hooked Bona back in an attempt to retrieve the ball, a move which sent Bona rolling. Luckily, cooler heads around them prevailed, and the referee flashed the yellow card at Cheng while Bona got a heavy dose of magic spray.
It was still anybody's game at half-time, and Subri really should have given Grilled the advantage in the 54th minute. Already unpopular amongst the home fans due to his first-half actions, Subri silenced them momentarily with a quality body fake that sent two defenders the wrong way and cleared a path to goal. Only Smed's flying save kept cantonat level.
Cantonat soon found themselves with a homegrown hero as Cheah Feng Yeng fooled Sid with a deft turn to thread his way through into Grilled's penalty box. He had several pass options open, but went for the strike and certainly didn't regret it as it flashed powerfully past Beckman. The celebrations were hearty, and Lee Keong Wai got an unnecessary yellow card for refusing to hand the ball back to Grilled after grabbing it from inside the goal.
Not that it mattered much, really, as Grilled never found a way back into the game. Björn Pihlholt and Xiao Mao-Yu both came very close to extending cantonat's lead, the latter forcing a wonderful one-handed stop from Beckman, before Lee Keong Wai saw his lob bounce back off the crossbar in the 75th minute.