Iman All At Home
The Birds caught a welcome respite from their recent string of losses on their visit to takhtai stadium, where they pummelled Division Four hosts abomoslem sadaf by five goals to nil. 20 year-old Iranian forward Iman Eshrafi
made it a very happy first return in years, beginning and ending the scoring to some recognition from his countrymen.
It was hardly the most fearsome of Grilled teams that trotted out, as they carried the mental burden of thirteen goals conceded over the past week. Head coach Djan Bacelar
had spent much of his post-game commentary on Mohammad Ramli Saliman
, hinting that the former youth international had much more to give - and should do so fast. Saliman appeared not to have let it go to his head, though, as he joked about before finding his spot in central midfield.
The wheels would turn well for the Birds against a frankly kind of lightweight abomoslem XI, fortunately, all the more as their Kuwaiti attacker Laith Saad Al-Fazary didn't take to his deeper position well at all. The home team were soon overrun, but Italian skipper Pio Rigoni appeared to have the handling of it... till Jérémy Tarin
thrashed over a lob from nowhere in the seventh minute, right to the eagerly-waiting Eshrafi.
Homegrown goalkeeper Sina Agha Babagoli slid across to no avail as Eshrafi put Grilled ahead, and there was no question how this game was going to go down. Prokop Mottl
continued to impress with his diligence and sophistication down the right, and it was his pinpoint delivery that led to Moey Xin Seng
making it 2-0, in the 22nd minute.
Gergő Gellér's abomoslem side were disciplined in nature but only too often tactically-unsound, and pointedly slow to react to the Birds' more unorthodox personnel. Other than Eshrafi, Chu Xin Lee
was a particular headache as he repeatedly popped up where he wasn't supposed to be, as happened on the stroke of the half-hour mark. Per Igelbo turned to find Chu missing, and by the time he had oriented himself, he found his pocket picked - and soon after, his goal breached.
The crowd were definitely not enjoying it much, but to their credit, they were rather less hostile than might have been expected. Referee Ángel Rodriguez would bear the brunt of their derision when he booked young heartthrob Houshyar Shirazi, though, after Shirazi gave in to his frustrations, and refused momentarily to hand the ball over for a throw-in.
A harsh decision, to be sure, but even the most biased abomoslem fan could have no complaints when a second yellow was handed out, a couple of minutes after the restart. The lanky Swede had been out of his element after a relatively steady start, and he could well had done serious damage to Moey Xin Seng
, had his studs-up challenge actually connected.
That free-kick was blasted over by Tarin, and abomoslem gave an inkling of having found their bearings following the miss. Although they didn't exactly put Grilled in reverse gear, the visitors found it much harder to get through for a time, and Lukas Hallig even had a pot or two at Krystian Rykowski
- but nothing too difficult.
This steady state would finally shift with fifteen minutes remaining, with the catalyst being Jérémy Tarin
's majestic free-kick lofted in from a forty-degree angle, which more than made up for his earlier blanks. A bit later, this was followed by Shirazi's departure, after the greenhorn fullback completely lost his cool with the linesman, after yet another call went José Luiz Velho
A ten-man abomoslem were hard-pressed to simply hold the line, and Grilled would get their fifth through Iman Eshrafi
's freewheeling overhead kick, immediately after their triple substitution. Velho would then get carded for some rough handling of an opponent, but it made no difference to the outcome.