Haridat Goes First
Suriname third division side F.C. Cajetas - an affiliate of Italy's Gaeta Golfo - took a praiseworthy lead against the visiting Birds, but their second team was ultimately outclassed. Vikram Mudaliar
and Kalki Parvathaneni
laid it on with braces, while reserve custodian Dan Seng
's runout would be ended by a twisted ankle.
Some of the high spirits from Cajetas' league winning streak had seeped over to their reserves, patchwork as they were, and they managed a credible two-all draw against Cuba's Querer es Poder just last week. Juha Setälä's clear focus was the midfield, which had four U-20 trainees, with the rest of the team composed of advanced veterans.
They certainly weren't intimidated, and although Grilled held an undeniable edge in midfield - probably unfairly given the names they had out - Davide Talarico and company made up in heart what they didn't in tactical awareness. Still, it was a rocky beginning, and they would have Wesley Vas to thank for opening the game for them. Yuki Irie
couldn't read Vas' inventive spin at all, and his hasty swipe at the ball caught the forward squarely in mid-stride.
Terence Haridat sent Dan Seng
the wrong way from the spot, and the Birds went into a bit of a mini-slump, with Giles Bakri then sending Seng scrambling with a decent strike from deep. The tide was always turning, though, and Chan Ze Han
beat Cajetas' massed defence in the 29th minute, with a timely reverse to the roaming Yuta Nakakita
, who only had to tap it past Ivan Yakovenko.
As had happened with so many brave resistances, Cajetas were hit by a flurry after conceding. Three minutes after Yuta's breakthrough, a free-kick into the box brought about a chaotic hunt for the ball, which Vikram Mudaliar
came out on top of. It was then 3-1, with José Luiz Velho
finally coming good in the scoring department, with his brilliant twenty-footer finding a gap at the left post.
Cajetas weren't entirely down for the fight, and Dariusz Besztak certainly revealed more than enough of that, as he tried to delay a throw from Bilal Mohammad Harun
, for which he was booked. Dan Seng
would then have to go off after limping following a contested clearance, but Mudaliar would poach another slightly before half-time.
Rashid bin Ahmad
's entrance for the second half was seen as a possible opportunity by the hosts, or at least Davide Talarico, who ran straight at the 43 year-old newcomer, and sent himself sprawling. Unfortunately, that wasn't convincing in the slightest, and Edgar Lew had barely shown Talarico the yellow card, when Chirag Thevar
broke through to score at the other end; the referee had to ask his linesman about that.
Giles Bakri continued huffing away despite that latest setback, and he would earn a second consolation for his team, after Terence Haridat had the beating of an overextended Thevar down the right. Vikram Mudaliar
's hat-trick was then spoilt by a crowd-pleasing acrobatic kick off the line by Regilio Hassenmahomed, but it didn't take too long before Rashid punished the opponents for underestimating his range, as he came down the middle.
José Luiz Velho
was involved in a curious sequence in the 67th minute, as he was booked for kicking the ball into the stands, after being angered at a decision given against him. The ruling would be overturned - a rare occurrence indeed - however, and Velho nearly got his own back with a powerful downwards header. Yakovenko stuck out a leg by instinct, but Kalki Parvathaneni
did the same to turn it in for 2-7.
Yee Jian Hui
replaced Chirag Thevar
in the aftermath of the celebrations, and the Birds would conclude the friendly with two more goals, from Moey Xin Seng
before another Kalki finish.