Same Old Story
Three Not Enough
The Birds scored thrice against newbies are newbies, as they had in their three meetings so far, but still lost as the visitors got four past Valdir Dias Paes
in this closely-watched Jurong derby.
The talk was of Grilled's impressive undefeated home record this season, coming up against a newbies side that had been overturned at home against Changi Genius last week. However, as has happened so often in this league, things did not go according to script.
Roshadi and Ler recovered in time to start for newbies in the spine of a flat 4-4-2, while Grilled went back to the 2-5-3 that had served them so well at home. For the second week in a row, Mohd Safri would be left out in favour of Safrinho, with Chow Ying Lee
cementing his place coming off a disappointing loss to Brazil in the U-20 World Cup.
Neither of Grilled's promising youngsters would have much of an impact on the result, as newbies threatened to floor Grilled with a snappy one-two in the first-half. One-club man Yang Hongxin, into his fourteenth season with newbies, stunned the Grilled defence as well as the feisty crowd with a piledriver from the edge of the box, after a block from Jungui.
That was Yang's eleventh league goal of the season, which put him level with Grilled's own Domenik Bögengang
, who would respond in fine fashion. Before that, however, the Birds had to endure a near miss when Roshadi bin Che Rusli struck one just wide of the post, but there was no stopping Ler Ho Yi as he edged above Marc Pujolràs
on a corner to put newbies two up.
There was no time to lose if Grilled were to make a contest of it, and Bögengang looked to have pulled the fat out of the fire as he ghosted in perfectly to get on a disguised pass from Chow Ying Lee
, before placing it beyond Massimo Lupi. Then, from the restart, he got forward quickest as Erik Back
stole the ball and took it up the right flank, and didn't miss a beat when Back's squared ball made it to him. 2-2.
It was now newbies' turn to be shaken, and Grilled tried to make it three in a frantic end to the half. Safrinho in particular was eager to give an account of himself as he tussled with Hubka, but wound up getting only a yellow card after contesting a throw-in with the linesman too aggressively.
Grilled came out with high hopes for the second half, but were stung when former heimu XI midfielder Amirul Jufri bin Durum nosed ahead of Crkvenjakov after Dorogan came out second best while defending deep. 20 year-old Cai Baoxian then smoothly cut in on the inside of Lefébure before expertly placing it for Amirul, who was happy to help it on into the net.
Left playing catch-up again, Grilled turned to Bögengang after a handball in the penalty area, and the dependable German forward duly collected a consecutive hat-trick against newbies with an unsaveable spot kick. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for the second time in a row, as Amirul Jufri got the winner in the 75th minute.