Grilled recorded another milestone as they defeated the reigning S-League champion, a feat never before achieved. They were helped by Zou Tsu-Yee not managing to pass a last-minute medical, and his 19 year-old replacement Wong Chao Han did himself proud but was simply outclassed.
Grilled's preparations were limited to transposing their left and right flanks, with flu-stricken winger Hidde van Liere
reassigned to the left in order to attack RaZer's weaker defence on that side. Impressive national star Gao Thanh-long, a recent S$12 million buy from Australian club The Liquid Poets rubbed shoulders with van Liere, but the two mostly went about their own attacking business.
Paullin was in a strangely combative mood, as he shoulder-barged into Canadian defender Peter Patel and sent both men sprawling within eighty seconds. Siu-Yue's coming of age was clear for all to see, as he refused to give up a single inch to national midfielder Weng Shen, one year his senior.
In the 16th minute, Siu-Yue speculatively punted the ball diagonally across the pitch, and goal glutton Jan Langeland
trapped it sweetly. He pushed the ball a metre forward with his sole before driving for the far bottom corner, but Malaysian sweeper Ahmad Tharmini obscured his line of sight and the shot bent wide.
The goal kick fell to Luis Alcántara
, who gave van Liere something to chase with his incisive lob. van Liere laid it early to Rottman, who survived a bodycheck and passed the hot potato on to Martinsson. Martinsson appeared to have blown his chance as he couldn't make up his mind when to release his shot, but luckily Mak Jiao-Long was slow to his weak off-foot attempt.
RaZer's manager was on his feet berating his charges before the ball reached the net, but it was the home side which continued going forward. Kek-Tjiang created an opportunity out of nothing when he took the ball off Chao Han from his back, but Siu-Yue's final strike was stopped brilliantly by Jiao-Long's outstretched right foot.
Already without Tsu-Yee, RaZer suffered another injury nightmare as 25 year-old Heikki Leinonen caught his ankle between Alcántara's thighs. The Finn lost his chance to repeat his goal against Grilled in January, as he winced each time he put his weight on that foot and had to let old warrior Tse Hyun-Shik take his place.
It was always going to be nervy at only one-nil, until Shen Kek-Tjiang
relaxed his teammates with a real bullet from ten metres, albeit from a very tight angle. van Liere brought in the assist, but Shen deserved it fully as he kept his eyes right on goal with defenders closing in.
With that Grilled slackened off somewhat, but still looked lively especially when they attacked Patel's area. The Canadian immigrant had never properly acclimatized to the Singaporean heat despite multiple seasons here. Falkbo nearly put all beyond doubt when Kek-Tjiang discovered him unmarked just inside the area, but Jiao-Long made his goal impregnable.
Paullin got the first sending-off of his career when he lunged in stupidly at the off-colour Willard in the 77th minute, though in truth he was lucky to have stayed on after his second minute offence. That led to RaZer's Norwegian defender Terje Dahl looping a goal over Clair Harlow
off Wojciech Wojnar's tremendous free-kick, but ten men were enough to defend for the final quarter of an hour and maintain second spot.