Ola Back to Best
Grilled went into this game desiring payback for the heavy drubbing by HaTT at the National Stadium the week before, but left mildly unsatisfied with a single point to show from Ola Martinsson
's hattrick. Confidence in the team had dropped as could be seen by the sub-70 000 attendance, though the watchers got good value from the attacking soccer and six goals.
Grilled persisted with blooding out-of-position players in central defence, and Rottman continued the job after having served tolerably well there in the Cup loss to Ampang FC. Kek-Tjiang was more or less recovered from that defeat though he did look a bit drawn, and was given an ovation by the grandstand when he trooped onto the field.
Grilled had no excuses now that their entire first team was out there at home, and Kek-Tjiang epitomised the team's general frustration at the knockout with his no-holds barred running. All eleven players got into the act, and Jörgen Falkbo
could have scored his first goal this season had he not turned Spirig's lob wide of the upright.
HaTT would be the team to break the deadlock, however. Grilled were so intent on attacking that they neglected HaTT's three superb strikers in front, and when they got the chance they were not about to miss. Threading swift short passes around the hapless defenders, they bamboozled Bona so much that even when he intercepted the ball he could only pass it in the direction of Finn Karim, who rammed it low into goal.Hidde van Liere
, back after a not entirely voluntary rest, sent a message to the coaches on what might have been had he been selected for previous games. Grilled's most expensive pair of legs waltzed by opponents as though they were onlookers, then sent a surprise short pass which Martinsson lobbed home on the fly.Shen Kek-Tjiang
was overeager to make amends when he rampaged down the middle brooking no resistance, cutting a swathe forcibly through the three-man defence. It was all glorious until it was time to lay it off to either forward for a near certain goal, but he chose to go for it and sprayed his shot past the post.
More misery for the home side just past the hour mark, as HaTT kept them back with their potency in the middle. Young French leftback Mahmoud Ben Mohammed had acres of space to explore on the left as HaTT pushed down the other flank, then suddenly switched focus. Bona missed the clearing header, and it dropped behind him for Mahmoud to dribble in and score.
That happened to be the prelude to the Ola Martinsson
show, however. van Liere merited a honourable mention as he again supplied the assists both times. The first one was a simple case of running down the line, then along the goal-line to finally chip in for Martinsson's headed equaliser.
Somehow defenders still backed off van Liere a minute later, and the Dutch ex-international just isn't the sort to lose control all by himself. He wriggled away with a low turn and in the same action slung a hard pass that Langeland could only touch a fraction. That was enough to get it to Martinsson, though, and he gamely snuck it over the goalkeeper.
Martinsson went into overdrive could even have stolen a fourth, but American youth international Eric Alley flapped his arms well enough to send the ball away, to much oohing from the crowd. Hungarian midfielder Gogu Preda crept in as the defense was otherwise occupied for an easy finish against Harlow, and that proved to be the last goal in an evenly-divided match.