Endurance Won Out
WhiteShark, playing in their all-red kit, were an intimidating presence at WhiteShark Arena at the other end of the island in Changi. Grilled had expended most of their first team options at beyond four days ago, and the mishmash midfield of Sole, Machado and Noor Yadah proved to be high on artisity and low on grit as they allowed WhiteShark to barge their way through in the early minutes.
Advancing wingback Liu Coong-Vinh made his way expertly through a disorganised Grilled rearguard action and punished Ding Sun-Nee
for his laxness. Grilled were distinctly unaccustomed to being put on the defensive, and struggled to keep up as WhiteShark maintained their offensive momentum. Du Ma-Huan found some success against Magunsson, but it was bin Mahmood who proved the greatest danger as he almost put WhiteShark further ahead on more than one occasion. It took all of Bao-Tam's agility to maintain the scoreline.Chen Chiew-Yen
finally put Grilled back into the game in the 37th minute courtesy of Hobson's and Noor Yadah's combined cunning. Gao Seng-kar
's injury in the 42nd minute left Shung-Tat no choice but to substitute in a weary Zhan Ju-Hau
, who did make an immediate impact as he fed a good ball to Machado who shot right at experienced Swedish goalie Rickard Sjöblom.
The second half started far more brightly as Noor Yadah barely got on the end of an ambitious pass by Machado, after he had bamboozled about the entire WhiteShark midfield together with Sole. Regaining his balance just in time, Aznan managed to hook the ball over Sjöblom.
Grilled now were more at ease, and Chen Chiew-Yen
would have had another goal had Sjöblom not gotten down quickly to his bullet header. Siu-Cheung bagged one for himself after a patient buildup from the sides, and right after that prolific WhiteShark forward Cen Chee-Hoong lunged at Sole rather inappropriately. After a brief conference with his linesman, the referee whipped out Cen's second yellow card, changing the shape of the game as WhiteShark conceded possession and fell back into a defensive fortress. Hobson attempted some unsupported runs, but was easily beaten back each time as the game petered out slowly.