Like a breath of fresh air in the S-League, Grilled are shaking up traditional powerhouses. Their latest scalp was table-topping Team Singapore, eking out a narrow 3-2 win at a packed Cooking Pot. The first half was particularly one-sided, as Hjortlind only bagged two from numerous openings. Had Team Singapore eliminated Grilled's three-goal cushion late on, he would have been named the major culprit.
Team Singapore's cast had a bad day overall, which was shown in the beginning when Zhan Ju-Hau
went it himself and flashed a rocker a metre wide of the Team Singapore goalmouth. Ma Dai-Lin
was deceptively slow, masking his crosses with an apparent inability to cover ground. Off a premature cross, Hjortlind formulated a tip that dropped over athletic Dutch custodian Joop Kamphuis. Hjortlind would come within an inch of adding a second from a header won by Martinsson, as his shot was stopped by the bar. Magunsson's free kick shared the same fate, to groans from the home fans.
Team Singapore's Mats Olsson then picked up a yellow card that will see him out of the upcoming Cup fixture against Holy Satans, as Grilled flowed forward. Au-Yong Siu-Yue
's form has been exceptional since regaining match fitness, and he complimented his intelligent playmaking with exuberant dribbling, getting far wide for Dai-Lin to break him free. Kamphuis spreadeagled himself to narrow the angles, but Siu-Yue's attempt rebounded into goal off his arms. Team Singapore then lost lanky forward Robin Andersson for three weeks to a crunching but legal tackle from Pakpao.
In the next period Grilled continued hammering at the doors, with Kamphuis scrabbling away a good try from Stanton running in from deep. Dai-Lin had his way with Spanish winger Alfonso Aparisi Miralles, still weak from a recent injury, and pumped in centers for the front two. Hjortlind leapt onto one to widen the scoreline in the 59th minute. Ten minutes later, he spent a golden opportunity, hooking the ball over the roof of the net.
Grilled's unseasoned backline started to waver, and Team Singapore saw the holes popping up. Rottman especially wasn't up to the frentic pace as he returned from a two-week layoff, and speed demon Martin Stjerning took him on successfully time and again. Bao-Tam had to bail his wingback out with a series of solid stops. He was helpless when Stjerning drew him out and passed across goal to the unmarked Jan Ragnin in the 77th minute, and Ragnin easily redirected the ball over the line.
Grilled were not too worried by that, and it told as the usually diligent Dai-Lin didn't bother to backtrack to cover Miralles when he lost position. Team Singapore's well-drilled offence fell into line as Grilled's numerical advantage was negated with a few smart passes, and Miralles was available to finish off the move that he began. The last moments were charged, but Grilled gave up all pretence of searching for a fourth and collected the points.