Eight Matches In The Making
Grilled Birds celebrated its very first win, by two goals to one against Meepok's Heroes in the third match played between the two teams. Gao Seng-kar
and Rafael García Sole
were the scorers who brought this distinction to their club.
Grilled Birds dictated the pace of the game throughly from midfield, enjoying a numerical advantage there, and was able to take the game to Meepok's Heroes. There was a long sequence of corners from the starting whistle, with Tim Hobson
causing some concern amongst the Meepok backline with his heading proficency. By the fifth corner, no less than three defenders had converged onto him, leaving Peter Magnusson
completely free only eight metres out. Dipak Umashankar somehow got his hands to push out the downwards header, but Seng-kar was alert and calmly put the ball over the prone keeper.
Grilled pressed the advantage, and Lan Tuan-Mu
again tested Umashankar with a shot from outside the penalty area coming from deep. Other than that moment, however, Meepok managed to snuff out most other opportunities before they developed into real danger. The match up to this point was unusually well-tempered, with only a single foul given for the entire half.
The second half saw rapid thrusts and counterattacks, and Sole was only saved blushes by the prompt action of Kau Siu-Cheung
, who cleared Sole's audacious backpass lob off the line after Hang Bao-Tam
was totally beaten by it. Sole clearly was much more fired up after that incident, and played almost like a man possessed. Hobson was his normal chripy self, but had a few good runs ruled out for offside. He did however break free of his marker eventually with a body fake.
The home fans were already cheering the moment Hobson's delicate chip-shot left his boots, so exquisite that it seemed that it must have been a goal, but the backspin on the ball caused it to drop just a bit too late. Chiew-Yen, while industriously holding the ball up, was limited to a single wild shot in the whole ninety minutes. Ultimately it was their mental lethargy which led to Meepok's Warren Barton able to cut inside his opposing numbers and past a backpedalling Tuan-Mu to tuck the ball past Bao-Tam.
Grilled looked as if it was heading towards yet another disappointing draw, when Sole finally flashed out a piece of Spanish flair, latching onto a one-two between Seng-kar and Chiew-Yen before hitting a strong right-foot shot straight into the net without breaking stride.