Raffles Put In Place
Adjusting To Heights
Raffles were finding life tough in the second division as they had yet to gain a point after two matches, and Grilled were in no mood to be generous as they condemned them to a third loss on the trot. Having first being dumped by four goals in the last eight minutes by fellow promotee TheUnknowns, then outclassed 3-1 by last season's runners-up FC GBR, Grilled had every reason to feel confident.
Speed merchant Ma Boon-Huat once again got raffles off to a flying start when his blistering pace was just too much for captain Luis Alcántara
to deal with. Boon-Huat's first step upon turning put him ahead of Alcántara, and nothing short of a professional foul would have stopped the striker after that. Grilled's defence must have been fuming as Boon-Huat had pulled the same stunt on FC GBR a week ago, but he took just four minutes that time.
Raffles seemed to have taken heed of that match and adopted a defensive mentality. It seemed to have worked as up to the end of the first half, Grilled were limited to a half-chance where Hjortlind came into possession of the ball with both teams packed into the raffles penalty area. His shot was weakened by a mass of bodies and eventually blocked on the line. It would take a special one to break raffles' resolve, and Aznan Noor Yadah
provided it when he struck from five metres out of the area. The shot looked straight and true but took a wicked swerve at the end to fool raffles' German keeper Karl-Gerd Fuchs.
Grilled came rip-roaring out of the restart, and Ola Martinsson
spent just a minute to thread home a second for the team as Noor Yadah cut the ball back after a dazzling dribble which took him past three men on the inside. Ulf Hjortlind
instantly responded by increasing the lead further off a potent lob by Ju-Hau, using his strength to hold off Tu Yoo-Ngan before getting clear to shoot. Temperatures rose to over thirty degrees Celcius, which was a pleasant relief for some of the Grilled players who had spent one match too many in the rain. It was to raffles' Swede striker John Hallbo's advantage though as he stole the show with a series of neat feints which Dai-Lin would have been proud off. Thankfully raffles lacked a certain insciveness which let the defence deal with his threats by mobbing him.
Grilled increased the pressure by going 4-1 up through a great finish by Zhan Ju-Hau
, who came from deep to get onto Asher Stanton
's redirected cross. Grilled slowed the pace somewhat as the sun sweated the energy out of most of the participants, but achieved a fifth and last goal through the mercurial free-kick talents of new player Ola Martinsson
. He proved that he was not only technically excellent but also astute when he blasted the set piece early, allowing Karl-Gerd Fuchs no time at all to change his position.