Grilled were knocked out by an impressive Red Chaos side, whose ridiculously strong midfield, helmed by the redoubtable Mohd Ali Hidzan, has been the talk of the town. That, and the incisive wing play of new signing Mats Åkesson, was too much for a Grilled defence missing Nawaz Talib
to take. Not that Grilled were impotent in attack, but once Red Chaos managed to translate their advantage in possession to goals, Grilled were never going to nick it.
It was well known that Chaos' Achilles heel was in defence, and Grilled pinned their hopes on their seasoned strike duo getting enough goals to offset the few that would surely be leaked. Åkesson was simply unmanageable as Grilled's three-man defence played tightly, though, and the Swede had acres of space to thread a ball through to overlapping fullback Bulcsú Latabár to slot neatly in. The Bulgarian could have double his team's lead when he rounded Sid to take a crack, only to see his dipping effort land smack atop the crossbar.
There was a buzz going around the crowd as Mai Fangjian jumped in recklessly on Matthias Branbilla
after the Swiss midfielder had gone to ground in the process of a tackle, and it appeared that only dumb luck prevented a serious injury as his stud's missed Branbilla's chest by inches. There was soon a posse forming around the place where the incident took place, but to the referee's credit he handled the situation well and immediately booked Mai to defuse the tension.
Grilled's strategy seemed to be going decently as Rotteveel braved the drizzle to outpace the covering Ting Yau Seng handily, opening the Chaos defence up for Subri to swoop in for an easy finish. Unfortunately, Chaos snagged two goals in first-half injury time to break Grilled hearts, with Jerome Carr taking advantage of Penati's slip-up to put Chaos back in front.
That was followed by a sharp Stephen Spencer free-kick that was brilliantly knocked away by Valdir, only for Ricardo Astola Madariaga to retrieve the loose ball and send it back into the box for Spencer to head it in. There was even enough time for Grilled to try and stage an instant comeback as Rotteveel raced down the middle from the kick-off, only to be cynically impeded by Remeli bin Kadir, who deservedly got a yellow card.
The second half began with much more urgency by Grilled, and they were rewarded when their captain Han Lik-Tsun
slowly made his way up the pitch during a long string of passes, and was on hand to rip one into Huang Jung Kook's goal from point blank, after the Chaos goalie fumbled a tenative strike from Subri. Man-of-the-match Mats Åkesson didn't let that stand, though, and made it 4-2 after a pacy Chaos offensive that saw him one-on-one with Valdir.
Clumsy play by the Chaos defence threw Grilled a late lifeline as two defenders converged on Rotteveel at the same time, clattering into the Dutchman who understandably needed no invitation to go to ground. The penalty was given, and Sid confidently put it past Huang, seemingly to set up a nervous finale. Unfortunately for Grilled's ambitions, their defense fell asleep too, and continued good work by Åkesson saw Stephen Spencer make it a brace with a pinpoint shot into Valdir's near corner.
Grilled's day went from bad to worse as Zoltán Árva
fell heavily following an aerial challenge with Jerome Carr, as their Cup campaign this season ended at the Red Chaos Arena.