Three In A Row
Grilled continued their streak of opening day losses in Division Two, as they fell 2-3 to a determined FC GBR side at home. In previous seasons, they subcummbed to a plucky Chinablack by the same margin, and to Shadow Chaser FC 0-1. Only forty-four thousand turned out in the seasonal rain, but they had cause to be confident as Grilled had carved out some impressive results in wet conditions. Moreover, they had the bulldozing strength of Zhan Ju-Hau
on the pitch.
Indeed Grilled shot off the starting blocks, with Ola Martinsson
beating a path to goal. FC GBR had just cleared a Hjortlind effort when it got returned to Martinsson, who turned and fired into the bottom corner. One-nil. Martinsson showed that the board had been right to authorise his transfer with a steely authorativeness in front of goal when Au-Yong Siu-Yue
played a defence-splitting ball to him. Mattias Vikwald never looked like he had a chance to stop Martinsson as the Swede beat his countryman for the second time with a cultured tap-in.
It looked to be Grilled's day when the legendary Örjan 'Pavan' Falkenstål might have reduced the deficit after atrocious marking by Rottman saw him alone with Bao-Tam, but Bao-Tam held his ground and Falkenstål's mediocre shot was easily smothered. Siu-Yue marred a superb performance by getting booked for rough play. The game might have ended differently had Martinsson been as good with his head as with his feet, as he nodded a cross from Stanton down at the goal-line. Vikwald was ready this time, though, and palmed the ball around the post. Bengt Sunesson breathed new life into FC GBR by lobbing Bao-Tam from a safe-looking long back pass from Kek-Tjiang. Though really no one's fault, that pass probably turned the game.
In the second half, Falkenstål got his third all-time goal against Grilled through a grounder from range, on hindsight a very clever choice as the slick ground did not allow Bao-Tam to make any predictions about the path of the ball. Grilled became cautious knowing that almost all the meetings between the two sides had been decided by the odd goal, and once again it was - but to FC GBR's benefit, as the veteran Kjell 'Gute' Westerkvist penetrated the Grilled backline just in time for Falkenstål to spread the ball to him from the center. Westervist had no trouble finding the net, and Grilled were behind.
The fans' hopes were now pinned on Ju-Hau, who was starting to look the most energetic player as the others were slowly worn down by the hellish conditions. The potential hero was laid low after he hurt his shin in the 72nd minute, and Ma Dai-Lin
was clearly not a worthy replacement but the best to be had. Grilled's game was over.