Last Laugh For Now
Joker Reserves Strength
Joker 9 put up a commendable resistance with a very young central midfield, but even a tight 4-5-1 defence leaked four goals to Grilled's men. Irrepressible winger Hidde van Liere
started by scooping up his second 3rd minute goal of the season, following his opener against Winning Eleven three matches ago.
Joker 9 were probably hoping to hold off Grilled for a more substantial period of time, but it was not through want of effort as their players practised an effective swarming defence. Grilled had to work hard at forcing the opponents' shape to loosen, and when they did that for the first time Martinsson pummeled a long shot into the side netting.
It got worst for the home side as they were unaccustomed to being contained in their own half, having a ten game winning streak in all competitions behind them. Lax marking allowed a rejuvenated Asher Stanton
to peel off from the pack and leap to turn in a good cross from van Liere. Two-nil.Quah Han Kok
tested very well against opposing players his age, as he utilised an intelligent game to help Grilled retain possession. He could have added another feather to his cap when the ball came off Dani Spirig
straight to him, but he made a split-second decision to pull the trigger and sent his shot spinning off the crossbar.
Aljunied Bridge was up and roaring as Joker 9 pulled one back against the run of play in the 67th minute, when lone ranger Lu Chang-Lit shrugged off Kek-Tjiang and was about to open fire when Falkbo's stand-in, Marcus Liehner
, brought him down well inside the box. Ex-BlueNite defender Jiang Joon hit the penalty to Harlow's left, and while the Grilled goalie guessed right it went in over him anyway.
Joker 9 had to attack quickly as the goal would have been for nought in half an hour if they didn't follow up, and left wide open spaces behind that van Liere attacked with gusto. His industry resulted in two late goals to seal it, the first by Ola Martinsson
and the other one by Shen Kek-Tjiang
in the 87th minute.