On Another Level
Far Too Mighty
Grilled gamely took Winning Eleven on at their stadium, and were put down by some outstanding football by the runaway league leaders. The Greens never looked like being in the game, as an overused Han Kok stepped in only two days after a fatiguing overseas trip to Finland for the off-colour Siu-Yue.
Otherwise with a full squad, Grilled opted to compress their side and lash out on the break. It didn't work, possibly because Winning Eleven had too much experience with teams trying to do that. Swedish midfielder Jimmy Nederwald preyed on Han Kok's relative naiveness by advancing on goal as the U-20 player backed off, and hit the bar with his eventual firecracker.
Markus Hultander fittingly handed the advantage to Winning as Grilled's defence proved sadly inadequate. Rottman was in indifferent form, and only Kek-Tjiang kept the middle from falling apart. Still, Grilled could have let themselves back in as Bona made a good run out of defence and pumped it to Wai-Kin. The S$9 million transfer unfortunately sidefooted a weak one right at Guardiola.
Grilled were lucky not to concede more than one goal in the final minutes of the half, with ex-Team Singapore midfielder Yin Van-Phuoc gobbled up a decent chance created by Nederwald on a break down the left. Avramidis, who has had a good scoring record against Grilled, rocked the woodwork in first-half injury time with a stylish grounder.
Figuring that a slim hope of a point outweighted the more probably deficit in goal difference, Grilled reverted to their normal attacking game in the second half. It took just six minutes for them to be warned by Hultander lobbing confidently over Sulaiman and just a metre over the crossbar. Another few minutes, and Winning were up three-nothing as striker Zang Kai-Chung converted yet another Nederwald cross. Tuan-Mu couldn't handle him at all.Dani Spirig
at least prevented Grilled from returning home empty-handed, as he beat all comers down an unattended left flank. With Martinsson and Wai-Kin expectant in the six-yard box, the Swiss youngster drew some gasps when he swivelled past his defender and finding countryman Rottman at the far side of the penalty area, who responded to this act of faith by driving in a superb goal from fifteen metres.
The Winning midfield however had one last statement to make, as David Klintskog passed through a weary Grilled defence in the 81st minute. Falkbo appeared to consider lunging in with a possible saving tackle, but decided against it probably due to the likelihood of a sending-off. Sulaiman came out and made a brave show of it, but couldn't prevent the calm finish from Klintskog.