|Season 24||L||1 - 4||Qualification|
Redemption of Lorenz
Grilled had waited one long season for this match, and in front of a sell-out stadium they led table-toppers Titus Titanium IV into mourning by chalking up a three-nil lead. There was a brief comeback by Titus, but when all was said and done Grilled became the only unbeaten S-League team after four games.
Titus had the smart money on them after three faultless wins, and were dressed to kill in their habitual all black. Jiu Thuy was up for it after sitting on the bench for the national team two days ago, but his colleague Tang Chien-Hui, with 24 caps to his name, was visibly not at his best.
Grilled stuck with the eleven men that had put them in such good stead, and while there were no current internationals among them, they had refined their understanding to a fine art. Siu-Yue bailed out of a dogfight with Chien-Hui by flighting a pass to a running Langeland, who let it bounce once before hammering a tough half-volley wide of the post.
Titus fired back on all cylinders, as Jiu Thuy bustled alongside Kek-Tjiang before sliding it across the face of goal to steadily-improving midfielder Miao Ee-Van. Ee-Van had seen his skills improve in leaps and bounds since his stint with established China club ChEnNiE Fc, but shooting appeared not to be among them as he banged the ball against Harlow.
It was a really ding-dong battle as Titus pushed hard and Grilled retaliated at a fantastic speed, but the first blow would be landed by the reliable Ola Martinsson
as he picked up a fine outside-of-boot pass by Kek-Tjiang in the 19th minute. With his unique technique, he watched the ball for a second before lashing a rightfooted scorcher into the roof of the net.
The second came in seconds as Lorenz Paullin
, disgraced for getting sent off in last week's win against FC RaZer Infernus, expended all his pent-up energy from missing the midweek Cup match by flying past rightback Chan Dae-Young on a massive initial kick. He positively made the others look like they were standing still as he got to within ten metres of goal before slotting him, to roaring approval from the massed crowds.
The Titus defence which had shut out both HaTT and Herron suddenly looked vulnerable, but their strong midfielder took over and forced Harlow into a state of perpetual alertness. Their No.11 winger Bing Kong-Phay stretched Falkbo on the right, then unleashed a mighty one that came off the upright and had to be hit away from danger by Fabian Bona
laid the contest to rest when he squeezed between Titus' central defenders and knocked the ball past Yukpui on his left side in the 66th minute. His teammates piled on top of him in slightly premature celebration, as Alcántara directed the players to sit back on the formidable cushion. In retrospect, it was a big mistake.
Grilled lost the soul of their play as their wingers dutifully pulled back from advancing too far upfront, and Titus strung tens of passes together with practised efficiency. Swedish forward Stefan Läfner took a clever cushioned header from former Shadow Chaser FC trainee Mohd Sofi bin Yusof well on his heel, and got past Harlow to roll the ball into an undefended net.
More excitement followed as red-hot striker Tang Mei-Kuen stole the ball off Falkbo to make it 3-2. The 25 year-old once from now-defunct giants Lurkers maintained his iron grip on the top scorers' chart, having five against Geylang Eagles United alone.
There was still time for a third, and Grilled were looking increasingly uncomfortable penned back, and Kek-Tjiang nearly caused a disaster when his loose pass back was snapped up by Läfner. Fortunately Harlow blocked to his right where Falkbo was waiting, and the experienced fullback swiftly sent it out of play.