Reigning S-League champions ChAmPzz avenged their loss in the Singapore Community Shield by washing Grilled away three-nil at home. They were nothing like the side that were whipped 4-1 by lcfc, as they surpassed Griiled in most areas of the pitch. Grilled were in reality not playing poorly, but it was simply ChAmPzz's day to shine.
The Birds again came out in heavy midfield mode, and kept a crowded central defence and attack. While this tactic had helped Grilled to overcome all odds to defeat Anfield Reds 3-0 last season, this time the egg was on Grilled as ChAmPzz knew exactly what to do to counter the plan - do the same, but better.
ChAmPzz's 31 year-old workhorse Michael Duvfeldt was a giant in midfield, as Grilled sorely missed Kek-Tjiang for the second league game in a row. Duvfeldt reminded everyone that he had a good right foot as well, as he brought down a long Jiang Yah-Lin cross and missed the corner of goal by half a metre.
Hägerflod arrived on time to flick on a creative lobbed pass for his fourth all-time goal against Grilled in the 14th minute. Sid and Bona were mostly looking at each other to take action for that one, and in the end both were given a right talking to by a fuming Sulaiman.
Egyptian goalie Abed-Sulaiman saved Grilled from being knocked out before half-time as he parried a rising rocket from Zhao Jong-chih. Grilled had then barely managed to scramble the ball out of the danger zone, and how Grilled's custodian saw the unmarked Zhao rear to shoot, with Kauppi standing in his face, no one knew.
The temporary reprive changed nothing as Grilled could not find a way to gain the tempo for any significant period of time. Duvfeldt simply herded off Grilled's midfield trio when it mattered, and soon ChAmPzz found themselves another goal up. Malaysian defender Mohd Firdaus bin Mat Jusoh, who was at Ancestrales before Falkbo went there, rounded Sulaiman to push it in after some superb work by Gulpen.
The final ten minutes saw some frantic table tennis styled soccer being practised, as ChAmPzz stepped up the pressure. Grilled's defence was by now in a shambles with Siu-Yue and Paullin especially slow to go back to help out, and ChAmPzz laid the numbers to bear on the Grilled backline.
Rihards Bleidelis had only to pass the ball into the back of the net as he faced an open goal, but he managed to miss that sitter by banging it against the post. It fell to Sulaiman, who was by then strangely subdued. He still retained enough fire to try a quick counterstrike, though, and drop-kicked it upfield ambitiously.
Han Kok drew on his wealth of international experience to outmuscle Mohd Firdaus into a good position, and nicked the ball on to a sprinting Siu-Yue. Siu-Yue brashly attempted to run the gauntlet of ChAmPzz's defenders, but Claesson held him up long enough for Mohd Firdaus to recover and surprise him with a neat sliding challenge from the side.
Claesson cleared, and this time Grilled were in a total mess behind with Bona running up to support. A few accurate passes manufactured a clear shot for American defender Chance Chu, who left nothing to fortune with a cultured finish.