|Season 51||W||3 - 0||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 50||D||2 - 2||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 48||W||5 - 2||Tournament (Group Phase)|
Checked By Champs
Grilled may have acquitted themselves adequately in their Singapore Masters opener against top-seeded Be Champions FC, but the narrow defeat remained a letdown given that they were 2-0 up at one point. Champions' Turkish star Ali Ütkün was too hot to handle, though, and kickstarted his team's response.
The Birds' head coach Djan Bacelar
mentioned before the game that he did not see any true weaknesses in this Champions side, whom had gotten the standard 3-5-2 down to a fine art. Thus, if Grilled were to get anything out of it, they would have to force the issue, and this was exactly what Chow Ying Lee
did against Champions loyalist Arnold Pang in the 12th minute.
While the capped Pang had a good five years on Chow, he could not avoid getting schooled by the latter's explosiveness after winding up being engaged in a direct face-off, and Chow continued by sneakily pushing it between Ortega's legs as the Champions skipper leapt out.
Although Champions had been the more convincing overall, Grilled doubled their lead shortly after. They lucked out when a haphazard dribble by Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
ended with the ball being knocked to an unguarded Ling Fuquan
, who however did cleanly fake Dorin Bejan out with a practised drop of his shoulder.
This was probably more than the Birds deserved at this stage, and Bacelar understandably motioned for them to slow the game down. Unfortunately, he didn't count on Ütkün being in tip-top form, and when Ling stumbled just for an instant in the 28th, the Turk came away with it and made Grilled's favourable position rather less inviting.
A magic Benoît Pouderoux pass then gave Ütkün a free header six minutes later, which the prolific forward wasn't about to pass up. It was all going his way now, and after Wong Ping Shun
's free-kick came back off the crossbar, the ensuing counter led to an easy Ang Tse Jian finish, with none other than Ütkün assisting.
3-2 was on balance more or less a fair reflection of the half, though Grilled could perhaps feel a little hard done by; this sentiment was multiplied when Wong again beat Ortega from outside the penalty area, having added a wicked curler to his dead ball repertoire, only to watch his shot come down just a bit too late.
This did give his teammates added heart, and Tian Yonghang
came very close on Grilled's next attempt, beating an overwhelmed Bejan comprehensively with some crazy footwork. This time, though, Ortega was totally prepared, and was on the ball in no time.
Pouderoux then embellished an already excellent outing as he went airborne to steal a march on Gene Filippone
's marking in the 67th minute, winding up hooking it past Wong Tian Han
with an overhead kick. He seemed to land a bit awkwardly, but judging from how he sprang up and shook his fist in joy, was okay with the fall.
Low Aik Jia
was undaunted by the task before the Birds, as he zipped inside to turn a cross from the opposite flank beyond Ortega within three minutes, but that turned out to be the limit of Grilled's resistance as Be Champions FC took the three points.