Grilled's impregnable wall got destroyed by the feet of grizzled I Nerazzurri striker Tan Pak-Kei, though goals from Hjortlind, Langeland and Spirig ensured that Grilled have a shot at making the quarterfinals of the Singapore Cup for the first time.
The Nerazzurri had combined a fine Cup campaign with poor league form, scoring no less than four goals in each of their Cup matches but securing only two draws in five league fixtures. Only one of their four against Milan FC was in regulation time, but penalties settled the issue then. Grilled were not so generous, and with Noor Yadah to guide Paullin and Spirig they had Nerazzurri on the back foot. Spanish import Rodrigo Abelló played the hero, stopping two or three certain goals including a one-on-one with Hjortlind.
Noor Yadah stood in for the slightly cowed Ma Dai-Lin
on the right, and flashed past Bahtiar bin Abu with pure speed. Langeland sneaked in happily to collect the forced pass near the touchline, and cleanly beat Abelló. Lee Si-Yoon was freed by that swop though, and Nui Pakpao
was found wanting in his coverage as Si-Yoon pumped early crosses into the box. Club old boy Tan Pak-Kei slipped in his sixty-third career goal, nipping in ahead of Fabian Bona
to home in a lob out of Harlow's reach - the only goal conceded so far by Harlow this Cup run.Ulf Hjortlind
crushed the aspirations of the raucous home support at Xan Zero with a blitzed brace before half-time, pulling himself within sight of the top scorers' crown for the competition. Ever willing to test defenders, he exploited a second of weakness by defender Teng Kai-Yan to will his way in, and could not be stopped from behind as he broke for goal. Nerazzurri midfielder Lars Haug wrecked their slender chance by throwing himself in the path of Paullin acres from the ball, a straight red card offence.
Hjortlind doubly punished that mistake by finishing off the move from the free-kick, as Barbour let Spirig's fast through pass run to the Swedish forward. Hjortlind clipped it naturally into the bottom left of goal. It became apparent that he was a marked man when Bengt-Arne Duvwald clipped his hamstrings from the back in the centre circle after the restart, a foul that went undetected.
The next forty-five minutes saw more of the same as Nerazzurri rued the loss of one man. Eighteen year old Dani Spirig
earned his second Cup goal after good thinking from Langeland, who left the youngster with a tap-in after he drew Abelló off his line. Langeland proceeded to miss a comparable opportunity soon, as Dai-Lin's hanging cross was not dealt with by the defence but he ended up hitting his free shot into the side netting.
With Haug sent off, Li Kai-Yuen had little help in midfield and his gritty style resulted in a booking as he tried to keep Noor Yadah in check by keeping a firm grip on his jersey. He had his opening too, when Lan Tuan-Mu
made an inexplicable back pass to Harlow under pressure from Duvwald. It ran far too slowly and Kai-Yuen beat Harlow handily, but Bona slid in just in time to deny a shot.
Langeland was a foot from goal in the 80th minute when his wicked curler scraped the outside of the right post, but he did get his double when Abelló misjudged the defensive situation from the goal kick. The ball was hustled to Langeland, who struck it in at the near post to shut the game down.