Two Down Two To Go
Ten-men Grilled Birds came within a point of retaining their Division Two title with a comprehensive 4-0 home win against raffles, but paid the ultimate price as injury-ridden midfielder Au-Yong Siu-Yue
lasted only nineteen minutes before going out for the rest of the season.
It was over as a game in a stunning first five minutes which saw two goals and a sending off. raffles fought out of the relegation zone With a 6-1 thrashing of Geylang Eagles United after disposing of Northern mainstays Shadow Chaser FC 3-1, but had no answer to the accurate interpassing of Ju-Hau and Siu-Yue. Zhan Ju-Hau
got the ball to Martinsson in the middle, and the Swedish hitman's predatory instincts took over as he feinted a pass at local defender Tu Yoo-Ngan. Tu glanced around to locate the threat, and Martinsson transferred the ball to his other foot and hit a bouncing grounder that went it at the right post.
The celebrations got a bit wild and Ulf Hjortlind
took offence to Göran Grundsjö preventing him from retrieving the ball, and after a bit of talking butted him in the head. The referee gave Hjortlind marching orders for that dumb indiscretion and the striker walked stoneface straight to the dressing room. raffles might have felt safer with only one man upfront for Grilled, but Martinsson alone was deadly enough as he sent the fans into a frenzy with a snap shot from the top of the penalty area before Hjortlind disappered into the tunnel.
That struck raffles deeply, and they had not get gotten over it when Ma Dai-Lin
, so confident on the right, put in a third goal in the fifteenth minute. raffles didn't make full use of their numerical advantage, and still had three men in Grilled's half when the 30 year-old Ma danced and swayed his way through the defence. Then, a catasthrope. Au-Yong Siu-Yue
had gotten ahead of Polish midfielder Berti Odenthal when he stuck a foot out, causing Siu-Yue to fall awkwardly and lie motionless on the field. The young hopeful sobbed as he was stretchered off, after being taken off midway against Apex as a precaution.Asher Stanton
made his first-team entrance, and the midfield engine continued running with nary a hitch. raffles got a free kick opportunity twenty metres out when Kek-Tjiang felled Hallbo, and forward Torbjörn Hulterberg, yet to score this season, came agonizingly close with a curler than spun around Grilled's wall but ricocheted off the outside of the post.
raffles made more use of their extra man after the break, and pressed Grilled into their own half with probing long passes aimed at their strikers which the defence busily cut out. Grilled left only Martinsson up front, and what a choice it proved to be as the swinging Swede went it himself in the 59th minute, leaving two defenders biting his dust as he dummied his way to goal. Ma Dai-Lin
ran in unmarked at the far post, but Martinsson trusted in his abilities and put a powerful shot past Karl-Gerd Fuchs for a quality hat-trick from open play.Zhan Ju-Hau
would have taken a fifth, but his attempt from outside the area was swatted over by a flying Fuchs. Grilled went from strength to strength and carved out another chance as Alcántara saw the run of Martinsson who beat the offside trap, but Fuchs kept the score unchanged as he leaped fearlessly at Martinsson's feet, preventing a certain goal.
raffles were not about to count themselves out of it, and their strikeforce had enough skill to keep Grilled on the edge. raffles German midfielder Ferdinand Dahl was pulled off before time after he suffered a hard collision, and experienced Anders Lindhing provided good cover but could not change raffles' destiny.