Farmer Bunnies too made it to the fourth round of the Singapore Cup against a renowned Orchard club with the same 3-2 scoreline, but they had to do it with ten men after Sofian Azfar
was dismissed for violent conduct late in the first half. Tecos Foreign Legion's Italian striker Valerio Fisci had apparently been careless about where he was spitting, but Kenyan referee Kito Gitonga only had eyes on Azfar for starting the fisticuffs.
To really rub it in, Cai Kuang would score for Tecos from a free-kick barely a minute afterwards. The Buns would carry on in a 4-4-1 with Benson and Hu taking over the load in midfield, and they seemed to have won it through Wong Ting Yew
's 85th minute conversion from a corner, after Enzo Paolo Panzarino
had equalised from a lucky deflection. Jamey Lu would send the match to extra time with another header, though, and it would take Brendan Leung
to find the decider on the second try.
studiously avoided mentioning Azfar in his post-game comments, suggesting some solidarity with the defender. This may also have to do with the magnitude of the next fixtures, with both the Birds and the Buns lined up against S-League sides: fourth-seeded Haha and third-seeded United Legends FC respectively.
Of course, if they survive that
, they will be all but guaranteed shots at the current Big Two of Parkway Paladins and Be Champions FC, but neither Darong nor Noubaryan was thinking that far ahead.
"We have a respectable chance against just about anyone on our day." Noubaryan said. "But they don't come much bigger than that. The guys are up for it, certainly."
Grilled International's run would come to an end on Tuesday, after they were beaten by H.I. third division side Cameokazi Extras on penalties. International gave a very good account of themselves, taking the lead first through Micky bin Kadir
, and then Safari bin Hj Jali
in extra time. Wingback Kalle Forsbratt rode to the rescue for Cameokazi each time, though, as his rampages weren't tracked.
The penalty shootout was a nervy affair, with five of the first six shooters missing. Oddly, it got much better after that, and it went on until Subhi bin Hj Ahmad
, acting as International's ninth taker, deposited it inches wide of the left-hand post.
His teammates certainly weren't faulting the centreback for that. "Subhi was very brave to step up." Safari bin Hj Jali
commented. "And four of us missed before him in any case."