Hellfire Missing Brimstone
Vice-captain Gets It Done
Orchard Division Four Hellfire F.C. took the lead against Grilled, but couldn't hold it as Grilled were spurred into top gear by the injury to Wai-Kin. Already with Martinsson under treatment, 30 year-old Englishman Tim Hobson
made a Cup return and ignited for a moment his old partnership with Hjortlind.
Hellfire had outgunned FC BeNjJaAwMiAnN 5-3 in the last round despite ex-Grilled player Law Kiong How scoring, and were not about to change their attacking basics. It was a testy first few minutes for them from the start, as flamboyant Colombian goalie Alejandro Redondo swung a low goal-kick straight at Siu-Yue. Siu-Yue was surprised enough at this godsend that he gave it right back.
Hellfire's Dutch midfield trio were daring in the tackle, and Hildebrand van Haselen received a yellow card very early for being seconds too late in taking down Siu-Yue. Compatriot Remon van Egmond in contrast sent the stadium into a frenzy when he nipped in a tricky corner that Alcántara failed to clear convincingly. Sulaiman made a terrific stop, but Polish defender Walter Chmielnicki instantly slid in and forced the ball into goal.
The lead didn't last, as Grilled kept up their short passing game and got the Hellfire defence bunched up on the right side, chasing van Liere. A passback to Han Kok knocked back up to Jie Siong regained parity for the Birds. It was just Jie Siong's second competitive goal for Grilled, and a nice one it was too, placed sweetly between the keeper and the far post.
Wai-Kin was just getting into the game, and was partway through a mazy run when fiery Dutch striker Ronnie Kuys hacked him down after tracking back. That earned Kuys a booking, but Wai-Kin was a goner and was led off the pitch clutching his sides. Enter Hobson to thunderous applause from the small section of travelling Grilled fans.
The match suddenly exploded, and Liehner displayed latent striking instincts as he looked to shoot rather than hold up and then center a good through ball. On current form, he should continue pulling the trigger, as his powerful striker was too hot for Redondo to hold. Grilled were ahead.
Hobson then had his fans delighted with a nimble foot-shuffle that gave him a couple of seconds on his marker, and ended his short but effective dribble with a pinpoint forward pass to Hjortlind. The Swede got the barest of touches onto the ball, but it was enough to take it clean past Redondo's grasp.
With a good two-goal cushion, Siu-Yue was perhaps too lax and threw away his second sitter of the day. He might have rued it had Dutch midfielder Nathan Lenting gotten something out of his fall at the edge of Grilled's area, but this time the referee wasn't far from him and saw that there was little contact between him and Bona.
Two defenders quite blatantly shielding Hjortlind from a great cross inside the box got Grilled a 48th minute penalty, which Hobson declined gracefully in favour of the elder Liehner. Liehner took a two-step runup and delivered a common grounder that Redondo came close to saving. A goal by inches was still like any other, though, and that didn't stop Liehner from celebrating another multi-goal haul.
With the injured list weighing on their minds, the Grilled team turned down the tempo and concentrated on just getting into the next round. Hobson, unleashed after a long period of inactivity, didn't act his age as he still went into opponents like he did in his younger days, eventually getting booked. Soon Ronnie Kuys was dismissed for a second bookable offence, and it became a forgone conclusion for the final half an hour.