Geylang Eagles United's Chilean coach Carlos Alberto Aguilar Bustamante turned more than a few heads when he named himself goalie for the match. The 61 year-old did turn away Zhan Ju-Hau
's try in the early minutes to collective surprise, but let in half a dozen as the Eagles picked up yet another big defeat.
Grilled were wary of Geylang before the kick-off as their players all appeared to have come into form after the collapse to raffles, but the sight of the aged Bustamante between the posts lured Grilled to take their chances and shoot on sight. As mentioned, Bustamante grunted and pulled a Ju-Hau attempt out of the air, but Grilled kept up at it and in the 27th minute Lim Fui-Gna was hauled up for having the ball touch his hand while clearing. It was a tough but correct call, and Ola Martinsson
had the easiest of times putting the ball into the corner, not even bothering to disguise his intentions.
A blunder by Bustamante led to a rather soft second goal by Martinsson, as Peter Gustavsson let Martinsson's botched lob go. Bustamante had ventured further out than Gustavsson had thought, though, and the high bounce on the dry pitch saw the ball sail over Bustamante into the empty net.
This didn't help Geylang's morale, and in the same minute Martinsson earned a first-half hat-trick by trapping Zhan Ju-Hau
's outside pass before hitting the ball on the fly. Bustamante leaped for that one, but did not have the requisite range. New midfielder Gao Chang-Sik, bought from TheUnknowns just over a week ago for S$7.5 million, strove to stop the rot and protect his keeper with a series of good challenges. He went in late on Siu-Yue though, and the referee had no choice but to pull out the yellow card.
Geylang's attack was still formidable, and the seasoned Tsai Jie-Quan gave the home supporters some hope when he converted Chang-Sik's crossfield pass. A little later, Zhan Ju-Hau
, unaccustomed to playing on the wings, struggled against Geylang's New Zealand winger Mark Unwin and timed his sliding tackle badly. He sent Unwin tumbling and got himself a needless caution.
While Jie-Quan and Ser-Kiat were getting the job done upfront, the defence had a torrid time covering Bustamante and finally Chye Hong-gil made a rare error, giving the ball away on the endline. Aznan Noor Yadah
then had a clear path down the edge of the pitch to goal and finished his run by squeezing the ball in at the near post from close.
Grilled were firmly entrenched in Geylang's territory, and when Hjortlind received a cross with no one around you would have bet on a fifth for Grilled. Hjortlind however went for the first-time header, which spun off the woodwork to the relieved goalkeeper. Hjortlind compensated with a classy dummy which sent Martinsson clear of the backline, and the Swede thumped in his fourth of the match empathically.
Martinsson repaid the favour with a crisp pass to Hjortlind on a two-on-one situation which left Ulf with only Bustamante to beat, and Hjortlind seldom makes elementary mistakes twice in a row. Grilled missed a good chance for a seventh when Martinsson bent a searching corner outwards and Siu-Yue, who had an outstanding game, nodded it into the path of Shen Kek-Tjiang
, who looked surprised that the ball had come to him and failed to connect cleanly.
Geylang did reduce the score in the 79th minute through winger Hu Yueh-shiou's fast break, but the result was long since beyond doubt, and a dejected Bustamante left with a string of questions to answer.