Battle Of The Bong
Changi side BonGGie FC had only the Cup left to fight for after some atrocious league form, but Grilled put an end to their courageous run with a solitary goal. Well-travelled captain Jia Man-Man's hat-trick ironically put his youth club newbies are newbies out last week, however he had little to add in today's defensive grinder.
BonGGie started with four at the back as Grilled did on Sunday, new signing Lau Yew Pin making his debut in central defence. The rawness of his partnership with young Edward Conrad was shown up after some energetic pressing, as the duo allowed Borup to sneak in behind them and latch on a medium lob from Siu-Yue to bang in past Zoccoletti.
They also missed Moroccan national winger Hanna Haddad Masruq, who moved west to fellow Division Three club RainStorm a few days ago, and Swiss midfielder Paul Gamber. Nevertheless, they still retained Kenyan international Nasser Ibn-Habib on the right flank, where he combated Falkbo manfully. A sharp spin by Nasser failed to keep the ball from going out on one occasion, but clipped the 34 year-old Falkbo painfully on his shin.
Dutch playmaker David Geerts didn't do the home side any favours when he intercepted well from a free-kick but elected to try and take it up by himself. He evaded Martinsson, but Han Kok came in from the other side and scrambled it to Borup. The early scorer wasted no time taking a potshot in his stride, and would have had a brace if it went two metres to the left.
Ex-Geylang Eagles United player Lin Siong-Gek had a wonderful day, and might have been a real hero with a tantalising banana kick from BonGGie's first free-kick of the day. It swung around the Grilled four-man wall and had Sulaiman stoned, but didn't drop fast enough to strike the back of the net.
Siong-Gek followed that up with a solid low grasscutter that came right back off the post about half an hour later. Liehner hacked that away, and after that effort it was all Grilled. Swede strikers Martinsson and Hjortlind tried brilliant volley shots that should have gone in, but the home side's Victor Zoccoletti was just too alert both times.
BonGGie were by now hitting back exclusively on the break, and with just a single goal needed to force extra time, were hardly downhearted. Martinsson caused some panic when he lost the ball several times in midfield due to the sticky pitch, though in the end the best late chance fell to Siu-Yue, who looked certain to have the match wrapped up when Yew Pin hacked the ball off the line.