2 - 6 Grilled Birds
The eighth round of the Singapore Cup was achieved for once, due to Asher Stanton
's playing up to expectations. With an unforgivable elimination looming as they travelled to a hostile, packed ACS Arena, Grilled kept faith in untried Dani Spirig
, putting him alongside Rottman. Stanton's ambitious passing finally came good, as he hit one half the length of the pitch to a yard of the onrushing Aznan Noor Yadah
. The hero against Bluedragon burst through as hands flew up for offside, and the flag stayed down for Aznan to bury the opener. Not the most popular of decisions, as the linesman was pelted with insults.
ACS continued with the air of a side that had won their last twelve matches, but Martinsson dealt their aura some damage when he peeled off their sweeper Mirko Gräf and got on target. He nearly broke through again within three minutes when he speared at a Rottman cross, but Romanian goalie Andrei Danciu was on hand to catch.
ACS were at heart an attacking team, and the smooth rolling offence that has seen them plunder 35 goals and maximum points from six league games clicked to defeat Bona's backline. The impressive Sa Yeow-Yong extended his consecutive scoring streak to six outings when he realised Alcántara was occupied, and advanced to score with a difficult bender. ACS roared back, until Ma Dai-Lin
got involved in a loose ball situation, leaving ACS to rue a goal cheaply given.
Dai-Lin turned supplier as Grilled pulled away to a safe three goal lead, as Martinsson finished off a bouncer that the oddly lacklustre Hjortlind managed to let slip through his feet. Spirig did his fair share of coverage and emerged with a booking for it, while Tuan-Mu was swapped off for Pakpao as the veteran aggravated a heel bruise still sore from training.
ACS's options were limited as they threw caution to the win in an attempt to scale the mountain before them, and Grilled duly extended the lead as their defence joined in. Asher Stanton
added to his burgeoning list of contributions when he called for the ball smartly and got it from Spirig, shielding it cleverly to confirm the goal with a nice one-two with Martinsson. The game was being played mostly in the endzones, and Brinkmann from ACS and Grilled's substitution Pakpao both got yellow cards in the business of defending.
Yeow-Yong cheered the home fans when he feasted on a long run from Lin Il-Seok, continuing the push until he reached Harlow. Quick feet caused the Grilled keeper the commit early, leaving him to coolly roll the ball over the line. No reprive for ACS however, as Safri bin Che Ahmad entered the referee's book before Ulf Hjortlind
claimed second spot in the Cup scorers' stakes for himself with a angry, unsubtle piece of striking. Aznan Noor Yadah
almost upstaged Stanton on the day when he parked himself in the middle just right to receive a spilled shot, but his follow-up came back off the crossbar.