Romanian wingman Viorel Pungã stabbed icy fear into the less faithful of Grilled's supporters with his first minute goal for duke's best team, but five different footballers from Grilled answered for it to secure a Round Eight encounter with All Stars Team.
With virtually the first move of the game, Italian winger Matteo Marascalchi rampaged past captain Jorgen Falkbo, who increasingly seems exposed by pacy players. Grilled had certainly not anticipated such an opening, as most of their midfielders had crossed over to the opposition half. Bona stuck valiantly to the waiting forwards, but the cross was high and well suited to Pungã's heading expertise.
The derby atmosphere was set by that turn of events, and in good time Falkbo fought fire with fire. Lorenz Paullin
had the run of the right after Kek-Tjiang held possession magnificently, and he tarried smartly, waiting for players to flood the box. The eventual center ball sought out Falkbo, who jammed his head into the ball to equalise.
Falkbo's first goal for Grilled preceded a flurry of attempts to get the all-important lead, and Spirig, rotated back into centre midfield, had a great effort blocked by duke's custodian Chu Chin-Yao. duke's Luis Valiente clashed heads with Bona in the 39th minute and appeared to have his nose broken, but Wang Jia-Ting made an able replacement.
Knowing that a half-time lead would be very encouraging, Hidde van Liere
devised a ploy to break the deadlock, swapping sides with Paullin to face the weaker left defence. It came off perfectly, as he kept defenders at arms' length while dribbling well within strike range. A strong right-footed rising shot finished the run.
Martinsson came oh-so-close with a tricky lob after a long ball from defence, but it proved marginally too hard and dropped tamely after contacting the bar. German striker Ingolf Mekelburg tried to impose his presence on countryman Bona, but his niggling fouls finally caused the referee to run out of patience and deal out an official warning.
Grilled were well on their way after Langeland won a penalty after being impeded in the six-yard box as he tried to divert a square ball into the unguarded net, and Martinsson's placing of spot kicks was again immaculate. Minutes later, Langeland had another good opportunity slip by as his brave diving header met a class reaction save from Chin-Yao.
Kek-Tjiang, undoubtedly the soul of the club now, embellished another vintage appearance with a goal, his fifth straight scoring outing. To be honest Grilled never seemed to need it as much as in the previous match, but his new habit of chipping keepers delicately was nevertheless welcome.
duke's did launch some counterattacks, but they inevitably failed for lack of support as even their wingers were held up in their own half. Asher Stanton
, freshly back from a three-week injury, didn't appear to have been out for any amount of time as he ran and tackled with the best of them. He thouroughly deserved his first goal of the season, a volley from van Liere's pullback.Dani Spirig
could learn from experience that it is rarely worth angling for a penalty when your team is four goals up with five minutes to go, which is what he did when he was stopped by Mohd Khairol while running at top speed. The referee was prepared to turn a blind eye under the circumstances, but Spirig angrily ran up to state his case and bring a yellow card upon himself.