Not This Time
Grilled were seventeen minutes from taking the points at Hattrick all the time's newly-renamed National Stadium, when Olsson and Lennartsson reversed the scoreline with their strikes. The result left Grilled with a loss on opening day once more.
HaTT were boosted by the S$20.4 million acquisition of former American Under-20 custodian Eric Alley, who had five caps for his country under his belt. Australian ex-internation Michael Dawson had departed, but Kyhlbom and Preda were more than able deputies. HaTT kept the solid backline that had served them so well, and built up patiently. Grilled had little trouble with that until Martinsson was hustled off the ball in the 21st minute. A lightning-fast break saw Irish winger Carl Kerry blister the pitch with terrifying pace, and the transfer-listed Pilholt slipped behind Tuan-Mu to notch his third goal against Grilled in as many meetings.
Rightback Chetas Menon heaped on the pressure three minutes later, as he cut into the middle instinctively as Preda searched for an open man. A trickling pass was laid into his path, and the local defender took it in his stride. It took a deflection off Dai-Lin and Harlow was never going to get near it, but mercifully it was stopped by the post.Au-Yong Siu-Yue
hauled Grilled back into it when he saw Aznan Noor Yadah
's head-height cross pass through the six-yard box untouched. Quickly, he bent to nod in a simple one at the far post as the ball dropped to him. This was Noor Yadah's first positive contribution, as he had been looking listless back on the left wing. The assist fired him up, and his speed began to cause problems. A sudden acceleration forced Malmhall to take him down close to the penalty area, but Martinsson's venomous stinger was absorbed by the defensive wall.
Stanton and Kek-Tjiang's assured attitude in the middle allowed Siu-Yue to roam freely, and Grilled grew in confidence. Nice interpassing pulled Hatt's formation apart, and sweeper Lan Tuan-Mu
didn't need much skill to sidefoot in the gilt-edged chance handed to him. With a win on the cards, Grilled lost that attacking initiative and allowed Hatt to regroup. Dai-Lin uncharacteristically hacked down an opposition player, starting the breakdown.
No-one could have been faulted for Hatt's equaliser, coming as it did from a player of such pedigree as Olsson. Seeing Harlow a fraction off his line, the classy midfielder clipped his cross pass over the despairing New Zealander. Broken by a move of genius, Grilled lapsed for a fatal moment, and Anders Lennartsson swooped in to wrap up matters. Holding Grilled's Tuan-Mu at bay with electric footwork, the Swede picked out the inside of the right post with his right foot to seal the victory.