Unlikiest Of Upsets
Upstarts Grilled Birds sized up to Division II Team Turismo before a packed Gamma Stadium before some twenty-five thousand spectators. Even the faithful mostly anticipated it to be the final chapter in Grilled Birds' fairytale maiden Cup run. The home side defied all expectations by matching Turismo ball for ball right from the kick-off, and the central three of Garcia Sole, Dai-Lin and Tellskar, arguably the first choice combination for the team, exerted early infulence in center field. Homegrown revelation Aznan Noor Yadah
broke through on his flank with a regularity beling his age, but Hobson's goal was of his own making yet again. Taking the ball off a scuffle between Chiew-Yen and Min-Choo on the flanks, he seemed to drift aimlessly across the pitch before breaking step to drive the ball twenty-five metres past a rooted Moung-Suk. The pace accelerated, but it was Grilled who nearly added a second as Ding Sun-Nee
tried his luck unexpectedly. The stadium held on to its breath as the ball winged towards the top left corner, when Moung-Suk sprang from nowhere to tip it over. Hard tackling became the order of the day, leaving Turismo's hard man Min-Choo with a yellow card and Grilled's sweeper Siu-Cheung with a sprained ankle. Nor Suhaimi bin Che Lah
came on for him, taking his place between Sun-Nee and the off-colour Dewilde.
Grilled were beginning to look shaky, and Che Lah repaid Turismo in a way when he went in on Turismo defender Sima Tuck-Yiew hard on one of Team Turismo's attacks. This time, it was the Grilled player who got carded and the Turismo player who got carried off. Tuck-Yew's replacement Tsang Thanh-Tri then immediately got burnt by Aznan Noor Yadah
's acceleration, who had the necessary seconds required to plant a carefully weighted ball through to Tim Hobson
, who took his second at close range. Chen Chiew-Yen
then had a flurry of chances to seal the win, but blew them all, before Turismo's trusty Swede striker Hampus K. Alexandersson put some panic into the Grilled team with a late goal of individual brillance. Chiew-Yen failed to hit back with a concerted push forward in the last minute, but it did not matter any more as Grilled had done enough to set up a sixth round meeting with S-League side Hattrick all the time, by far the biggest game that Grilled fans have ever looked forward to.