Hit For Six
Grilled recovered from their dip against Rollin' Thunder to rampage to a six-nil victory over last season's runners-up United Warrior Team, who have yet to score in this edition of the S-League. Zero points and a negative fourteen goal difference after three matches should be a concern for their supporters, with their coach's switch to an overwhelming emphasis on midfield coming up short against top flight tactics.
There was little doubt that the visitors were aiming to set up shop in their half for a point, as their usual 3-5-2 was arrayed deep inside their own half. This only invited Grilled's dynamic offense onto them, and Subri weaved his way right down the middle to thump a left footer past the off-form Afandi bin Zainal, whose confidence appears sapped at the moment.Quah Han Kok
tried to be back with a vengeance as he missed the game with Rollin' through injury, but his efforts at dictating the match became little more than a damp squib as he tried too hard and kept falling over on the slick grass. The standout in midfield was instead the Warriors' Bai Ming-Foo, but even a colossal display by the 30 year-old Singaporean only managed to keep the scoreline somewhat respectable, as his teammates were not up to the challenge.Hidde van Liere
was unlucky with the woodwork, poking one through that might have bounced over the line on another day, and when Valdir landed heavily on his butt after jumping high for a cross, there were fears that Grilled would end up with a repeat of last season's goalkeeper crisis. Valdir turned out alright in the end, and he had plenty of opportunities to take it easy as the Warriors rarely threatened.
Subri gave the Birds some assurance of safety before the break by putting the ball between Afandi's legs, after van Liere had pulled the ball back across much of the Warriors' penalty area. Spirig took advantage of being the extra man on the right side with Grilled hitting the ground running in the second half, and van Liere racked up yet another assist with a well-weighted ball for the Swiss midfielder to smash in.
There was much more running after the sun began to emerge from behind the rainclouds, with Rotteveel putting his pace and ball sense to great effect following Sid's getting a great save out of Afandi with a fabulous strike from deep. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper Rotteveel had guessed the outcome correctly, as he ended up being in the right spot to dink the rebound into an unguarded net.
Subri then got his hat-trick thanks to Rotteveel opening a path through the Warriors' defence with a straight line run that had Long Shiu-Loong chasing after him. That left Subri free down the middle, and both forwards were alert to the obvious pass that left Afandi with no chance. Subri then capped his day with a downwards header to make it six, even though Han Lik-Tsun
fluffed a glorious sitter from three feet.
The Warriors went for a consolation goal in the final minutes, with the tireless Bai making a box-to-box run that won himself a half-chance at Valdir's goal coming in from a tight angle. Grilled's Brazillian goalie protected his clean sheet rather simply with a calm catch, though, which more or less summed up the Warriors' season so far.