A Ways To Go
Strangely, Djan Bacelar
was absent for the post-match conference, and it fell to team elder Rashid bin Ahmad
to fill in on short notice. "It was a tough but mostly fair game." Rashid, never particularly eloquent, offered. "Didn't start out the best, but no hard feelings."
Farmer Bunnies for their part had arranged to test themselves against Pakistan Premier League champs The little babblers, who had moreover captured their national cup last season, and hold the Emerald Challenger Cup. If this was a measure of the Buns' ambitions, then they didn't do all too poorly, as they matched babblers for long stretches in a narrow 1-2 loss.
The babblers took the initiative and were not wanting for opportunities, opening the scoring through Kristijonas Sutkus from a corner. A magic save by Vivian Grubenmann
off Burhaneddin Ilıcan kept Farmer in it, and six minutes later they were back level, as Liderhan Kadyr
's class told with his impeccable volley in over Ecuador national goalkeeper Carlos Hidalgo.
The match would have to stop for some time after that, due to Jon Benson
having jarred his shoulder badly in the build-up, and it remained up for grabs with both teams circling warily. Morgan Hu
's entrance for Benson in the 78th minute nearly paid immediate dividends, but Kadyr's attempt off the counter was blocked, and French winger Julian Perrot's finish off Enzo Paolo Panzarino
's poor clearance would decide the tie.
This performance seemed acceptable for Sikong Darong
, though. "We were running even with the big boys back there." the Bunnies gaffer said. "The team's not far from getting the right balance between defence and attack."
French sixth division club Rocco SG FC completed the triple over the Grilled clubs, as they saw off Grilled International by three goals to nil. Erik-Jan Beuken, Sascha Moser and Andrei Chiţac were the scorers in a swarming 3-4-3, while Tommy Dongelmans
passed up a late consolation, as he overthought his finish.