Lennartsson Cleans Up
Grilled fell to their second-worst league defeat ever, and the only consolation was that only forty-odd thousand were present to witness at HaTT's National Stadium. Hattrick all the time were a different team from that which was struggling so far, and blew Grilled out of the water with a splendid balanced game.
Few expected Grilled to put too much stock in this mid-season fixture as they had a very taxing Cup fixture scheduled, but it probably didn't take the travelling fans long to realise that something was seriously wrong with the gameplan. HaTT eschewed their traditional 3-4-3 for the omnipresent 3-5-2 and limited the Grilled's options severely.
Jie Siong was given his wings at the sides, but while the combination of Kek-Tjiang, Siu-Yue and Han Kok might be expected to be of reasonable calibre, they caught Finnish middleman Jakob Taipale and long-timer Hans Kyhlbom on a good day. Spirig denied the front two time and again in the early stages, as Gogu Preda got booked and Martinsson had a low-flying free kick absorbed by a four-man wall.
It all began to unravel when German rightback Peter Andreas Strassburger railroaded in from his flank, for the sharp-eyed Kyhlbom to send a low lob to him. Spirig slid in too early and was left on the ground as Strassburger dodged and found space at the right post to deposit the ball. Han Kok had his turn when Bona sideheeled a corner, but Eric Alley got his legs to the ball first.
One-nil seemed a fair reflection of the proceedings so far, and Grilled still held high hopes of pulling one back. Anders Lennartsson interjected with a 54th minute goal as he faked one way and the other, then blasting a shot near the middle of goal that Harlow found too hot to handle.
Grilled seemed to simply collapse internally now, as Taipale squirreled through the middle without much problem, with both Falkbo and Bona offering Spirig little support. Harlow was also clearly not his usual self, as on another day he would probably have gotten something to Taipale's waist-high shot.
Things were rapidly going downhill, and Kek-Tjiang confronted team captain Jörgen Falkbo
quite aggressively on how his defence was being run. Falkbo's cooler head prevailed, but Hungarian legend Árpád Donát spoilt his mood again when HaTT punched through the weak centre for the umpteenth time.
HaTT continued scoring at five-minute intervals, with Anders Lennartsson claiming the fifth through one flank while Sten Rosblom decimated Falkbo with incredible acceleration on the other. Lorenz Paullin
could have mitigated the crushing defeat a bit when he got put through by Jie Siong, but sadly missed but several metres.