Grilled left Geylang with their hearts in the mouths, as they squeezed through into the sixth round rather late. Ultimately, Malu United's defeat was the first in 20 matches, and Quah Han Kok
repaid Grilled for recommending him to the U-20 side with a magnificent display that would have done his chances no end of good.Terkel Borup
's letting his central midfield spot to Lee appeared to have been taken in good faith, as he did his job on the left with alacrity. Malu's no-nonsense defender Lim Tian Shi was a tough nut to crack, as he was up to date on all the German's footwork. Borup did take advantage of a little slip in the 8th minute though, pumping a short cross in for Quah Han Kok
to nick the lead.
Quah thouroughly enjoyed himself after a barren first year at the club, as he danced about in the attack half with bubbling confidence. He was even ahead of Grilled's designated strikers when Malu's goalkeeper Bai Thanh-Phuong sent his goal-kick low. Quah still had to leap to stop it, but after that he regained his footing well and sent it right back over the embarrassed keeper.
Martinsson should really have made it three-nil after Langeland was nudged while rising for a header in the penalty area, as he selected a standard hard-to-the-right strike from the spot. Technically it was executed perfectly, but Bai had made up his mind to go to that side and there was nothing Martinsson could have done about that.
Malu United were not going to roll over, and their energetic right winger Shen Khac-Kham exploited his youth to full extent against 33 year-old Jörgen Falkbo
. Falkbo's reading of the game was impeccable, but he just didn't have the legs as his comrades neglected to help out. Shen carved open the defence with a well thought-out pass to the waiting Gustav Mårtensson, who finally ended Harlow's 386 minutes without conceding a goal in the Cup.
Horror of horrors, Malu evened the game in the next minute as a shaken Harlow dropped the ball after a corner from Alexander Rountree. Rountree had been effectively marked out by Bona, but at the expense of Mårtensson who pounced at the fumble and put in a close-range shot at the near post. Liehner was guarding it, but he didn't have a chance as the ball struck him en route to the back of the net.
Quah upped his game at this, and Grilled effectively had three men forward. He nearly impressed with a powerful banana kick at head height, but Bai had the agility needed to spring across and back to punch the ball over the bar.
Neither team had the advantage at half-time, but Malu must have felt a great deal better as they stalled for time. They must have been rather sure of maintaining the status quo for a paltry forty-five minutes, as Grilled's strikers were just out of click.
It was left to Quah to salvage the match, as Grilled's coach appeared about to send van Liere on in a last effort to open the game up. This time, it was his junior Jie Siong who created the space with some hard if unflashy running down the left. Quah had a good ten metres' run-up before unleashing his stunner which went in off the post.
There was no stripping this time from the new addition to the hat-trick club, as Quah simply raised three fingers to the heavens in a casual gesture, as though he regarded himself a regular already. No-one was wont to correct him, as Martinsson even made a show of "polishing" his boots.
Malu United now had to score again, but Grilled's backline was on red alert now. Martinsson made a mistake on a fastbreak when he dallied on shooting and had his passed shot halted by a defender. Malu changed tack and began raining long balls, but Mårtensson and Rountree were consistently outjumped by Bona and company.
Spirig finally dropped the guillotine as he spun cleverly on a tight ground pass by Stanton, which put him on the weak side of his defender and followed up with a quick-release trigger. Bai only had time to turn his head to his left as the ball crossed the line. Spirig got carded in the next minute doing his defensive duties, but that was largely irrelevant as Grilled survived the scare.