A suspension-blighted Shoryuken FC didn't make much of an impression on the Birds, and fell to a 0-8 defeat at their Johan Cruijf Arena in Woodlands. An all-out weekend battle against Golden Jaguars had seen key midfielders Danilo Cerioli and Anders Åsberg sent off, and although American winger Elvin McCutchen passed a late fitness test, it was apparent that he was not in top condition. All this added up to Grilled taking over most of the field, as Shoryuken reserve Teoh Jin Han was outnumbered and outplayed.
It wasn't like head coach Alan Pe'er was trying too hard to win this one either, as he rested Dutch captain Calvin van de Braak, together with their two best forwards in Cheong Hui Jia and Theodore Zheng. That said, former national U-20 player Kolten Yuen started together with CC Vattipulusu and latest hot young thing Kwek Jie Feng, which left Shoryuken FC with more than enough gunpowder to blow some holes in the Birds defence, in theory.
That was, however, never about to happen without some supply, and sad to say the hosts' two-man midfield core got absolutely swamped from the first whistle. Bilal Mohammad Harun
only had to sit a little back to all but destroy what few possessions Shoryuken FC tried to get off the ground, and he would also curl a neat pass down the right, for Moey Xin Seng
to open from in the eighth minute.
Shoryuken FC's 3-4-3 was just leaving too much room down the centre, and Chan Ze Han
would dodge past opposing skipper Herbert Aussems to nick the second, 15 minutes in. The home support's bright-eyed optimism would however only start to wane when Cyril Künzler
burnt Henk Loevestein for pace to score, before immediately supplying Yuta Nakakita
from a corner for four-nil, and all this before half an hour had passed.
Open season was all but declared at that, and Chan Ze Han
would clinically complete his hat-trick by half-time, playing off the flanks. Bilal Mohammad Harun
's hard work in the background was also rewarded, when he found himself left in just the right position to fire upon the flustered Tan Beng Loong after an extended attacking sequence - which he did successfully.
Compared to that, the second half was a quiet cool-down, with the teams seemingly having come to a tacit understanding that nothing would be gained by duking it out. Pe'er did put Allesandro Dolk on for Loevestein, who had been having a hard go of it against Künzler at leftback.
It was not as if Grilled had shut down entirely, and they managed to carve their way through several times. Islom Davlatov
would be disappointed to see Tan soar to punch away what was a marvelous potshot to the top corner in the 55th, as would Neeraj Muthyala
after Florus Romijn
had finally managed to get on the inside of McCutchen to cross.
Tan would finally be beaten after Romijn went for it again, and this time it bobbled through for Cyril Künzler
to knock in. Another record margin was on the cards, given that there was still half an hour remaining, but the Grilled players ultimately obeyed Noubaryan's orders to practise discretion.