Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "It never rains but it pours", a three-day long rainstorm continued unabated to leave the expensive pitch at The Cooking Pot under half an inch of water despite the best drainage systems the club could acquire. The recent construction did nothing for the grass either, and Grilled were left to take on Woodlands Punishers FC in front of a mostly-empty arena.
After the 1-3 humiliation against total destruction, it would have taken a special kind of fan to grace the occassion, but for half an hour all they had as a reward was the commemorative program sheet as the referee seemed wrong in allowing play to go on in near-flood conditions. As the players sloshed rather than ran, Grilled scored through Ma Dai-Lin
, whose taste for jinking runs and old lungs made him a rather unlikely suspect. He almost looked like an older version of Zhan Ju-Hau
as he abandoned finesse to plough past young Australian defender Darryl Popper and hoist a lob over Tan Sai as Rolf Persson closed him down.
The game entered high gear after that, and tackles flew thick and fast from the Grilled side as they appeared unsettled by Woodlands' wide game. Jon Andrea Rottman
was first to be cautioned for time-wasting, then Hjortlind was lucky to escape being sent off after he hacked fellow striker Wang Xiao-Shuang in a tussle for the ball. A quick spray brought Wang back to his feet, and he almost took a goal in return when he stopped Rottman's sloppy pass. Rottman recovered in time to clear the ball for a corner, though.
Two minutes after that, Martinsson went to ground in the Punishers penalty area, and there was much debate whether Persson had touched him at all or if it was the result of the slippery pitch. It was certain that Martinsson had a direct path to goal, so the referee gave the attacker the benefit of the doubt and awarded the penalty. Martinsson duly scored from the spot as he put the ball in the top right corner. Hjortlind turned victim as Laurentiu Vlãdoiu scythed him down in midfield minutes later, and the Romanian got carded for his rash challenge.
Conditions deteriorated further in the second half, to the point that the game seemed unplayable. There being nary a beep from the stadium's lightning arrestors, the referee felt he had little option but to see the match out. Neither team could string more than four passes together for the remainder of the game as the ball often got stuck in one of the many mud puddles on the field. Fredrik Rundwald of Woodlands got the fourth yellow card of the game after he held onto Zhan Ju-Hau
's jersey in a private battle in the center circle, but judging from the disinterested and drenched players looking on the game had turned into a no-contest. By the time the game ended, less than ten thousand fans were left in the stands.