Grilled Birds 2 - 0 lcfc
The Cooking Pot has seen nine Grilled goals and a grand total of zero scored by the opposition in three S-League fixtures so far this season. It could be attributed perhaps to Grilled's "extra man" in the form of the home support, who have practically filled the stadium in the heimu XI and lcfc games.
There was a rapturous reception for former Grilled star Aznan Noor Yadah, as the prodigal son returned for the first time since his S$9.36 million move to lcfc. Apparantly few had minded him returning to Singapore to play for a potential rival, and the Malay midfielder reciprocated their well-wishing with a beaming smile and wave to the masses.
Aznan gave no quarter once the whistle went, as expected of a true professional, and his first contribution was a stiff challenge on Kek-Tjiang to win the ball. lcfc had built up a reputation as a free-scoring side by setting free the talents of young national winger Neo Nie How on the left, and he had Sid wary for long periods of time.
Nie How's superlative speed necessitied Han Kok to sit deep to help out, and allowed lcfc to press forward on the other fronts. World class Swedish midfielder Bruno Lagerquist cracked the first shot on target of the game, but it went right at Abed-Sulaiman, who nevertheless looked less than comfortable swiping the ball away.
Grilled feared to deploy too many men into the opposition half given Nie How's threat, but slowly began to regain the initiative, roared on by their fanatic supporters. Chances were still at a premium, and Martinsson really should have done better when he was presented with an open shot by Han Kok, but he volleyed well wide of the mark.
It was difficult watching until half-time, and the teams finally threw caution to the wind after the restart. Grilled were the ones to draw first blood, though, as Fabian Bona
of all people threaded his way through the lcfc defence with some quality dribbling. The visitors recognized the danger too later, and Bona slotted past Timmy Jastrup to cap a wonderful and rare individual effort.
lcfc were hardly happy to go one goal down, and their Jia Duy-San took Rottman down as the Swiss was running onto a pass. Rottman fell awkwardly as his knees buckled unded him, and he had to be ferried off the field in tears, knowing that tomorrow's Hattrick Masters tie would be beyond him.
Grilled drew strength from Rottman's loss, and his replacement Terkel Borup
in particular was fired up. His tenacious defending in lcfc's own half saw Aznan put a foot wrong, and the loose ball was knocked wide to Paullin by Siu-Yue. Paullin cut in and lofted it to Wai-Kin, whose effort from an acute angle was perfect.
Now with a two-goal cushion, Grilled played more conservatively. lcfc's Ma Dong-Myung, who recently returned after a long stint at famed Swedish side Tjalve, diligently went about trying to put in his 100th career goal, but would not reach the milestone today. Martinsson came the closest through a snapshot with his toes, but it skimmed off the bar.