Tricks All Around
Roshadi Roughed Up
As feared, newbies' national striker Roshadi bin Che Rusli was in scintillating form as he bagged a double against the Birds, and while Grilled's equally on-fire German bomber Domenik Bögengang
got a hat-trick of his own, a further brace from Polish leftback Bogdan Hubka meant that newbies would beat Grilled for the first time ever.
newbies' early season spending had done their side a world of good, with all three imports featured in their defence. Against this, Grilled saw little option but to field an offensive 2-5-3, with six recognized midfielders helping out on the pitch, with Anders Josefsson
even filling in at defence.
The home side also boasted of Amirul Jufri bin Durum, who became probably the only player to face Grilled for the third successive season; originally with heimu XI, he joined newbies after that, and would be their star performer in the win, outside of Roshadi, who took just ten minutes to work his way past Vukota to score.
Grilled did gain control of midfield as planned, and Quah Han Kok
should have made the hosts pay in the 24th minute, after a great cross from Erik Back
was turned into his path. Quah could only puff it right at Lupi, however, and newbies turned the move to their advantage and got another through a long ball over the defence to Hubka.
The Birds continued plugging away, but when Chow Ying Lee
stepped right over a magical Dorogan pass with an open goal at his mercy, one could sense that it wasn't going to be their day. Things began looking up as Grilled found their stride, and a Ritchie Bradley booking was followed by Quah making amends by rushing right past the wary defender, supplying Bögengang with a one-on-one which he finished with a chip.
newbies appeared to be there for the taking, as Alejandro Hijano gave away another yellow card for delaying a Grilled free-kick. It was Grilled who ended up stung, though, as Bogdan Hubka took the ball off Josefsson to record newbies' third, before Valdir could only parry Cai Baoxian's incredible strike to Ler Ho Yi, allowing the well-travelled local midfielder an effortless goal.
made an early change, swapping Kyou-Chull Kim
on for Quah at the start of the second half, but their luck didn't change. Chow Ying Lee
was inches from breaking through in the 50th minute, but the hosts somehow once again transformed it into a counterattack, one which Roshadi made it 5-1 from. The superstar nearly rocked Grilled with a sixth from a free-kick, but winged it just over.
Grilled could be praised for not giving up, as Bögengang grabbed a messy second in the 56th minute. Sensing the faintest whiff of a comeback, Han threw Niculae Stanca
on to inspire the team. Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
, who had an otherwise quiet outing, got an overdose of it, as he crashed into senior Roshadi just two minutes later.
The tackle looked legal, if uncommonly hard, as Roshadi flew one way and the ball another. newbies players immediately gathered around an unrepentant Mohd Safri as Roshadi rolled around. The match had to be paused as medics attended to the stricken captain, who eventually had to be stretchered off with a brace around his leg.
The match took on a darker tone after that, an atmosphere which Grilled curiously thrived in. Valdir pulled off a wonderful save from Bradley's long ranged effort, and Bögengang poached another in the 64th minute to raise Grilled hopes.
Unfortunately, this revival ground to a halt, as the pent-up tension finally exploded when Kim retaliated to a light shove by an opponent with a hard one of his own. This sent players scurrying to the scene from all over, and might have erupted into a free-for-all had the match officials not immediately intervened. Kim was sent off, and a ten-man Grilled struggled to find the critical fourth goal.