Tribute To Fans
Grilled followed up their victorious Cup final by smashing Titus Titanium 6-1 at home, avenging the 1-2 loss earlier in the season. Titus were not at their best, troubled on the financial front by the massive S$850000 a week wages of national star Tang Chien-Hui. Tang and fellow midfielder Miao Ee-Van were briefly available for transfer before the match, and although they stayed on it must not have done their morale any good.
Now free to play their best XI without reservations, Grilled granted new idol Hidde van Liere
a rest, and recalled Lorenz Paullin
to take the right wing - which was to have been his on Wednesday. It was an expectant crowd that cheered the Birds out against the white-and-grey of Titus, and they were to be satisfied.
With neither Paullin nor Han Kok pure wingers, Grilled opted to cram the middle and bludgeon their way through. Titus weathered the early storm, and Grilled never had a clear cut opportunity until Paullin swung his lob hopelessly wide after Siu-Yue had played him through.
Titus made their move in the 37th minute, as Chien-Hui turned on the class to waltz through midfield on his own, before teeing it up for Tang Mei-Kuen to strike. Sulaiman threw his body on the line and managed to delay the inevitable, only for second striker ZhangCai Han-Jet to race in unopposed and tap the rebound in.
That woke Grilled up, and they were back on level terms within three minutes. Sid didn't need a dead ball to equalise as the Titus defence literally parted before Han Kok's lively dribbling, and the Polish defender showed that he could also do some fancy footwork if he needed to, before sending the ball into the bottom left corner.
It got even better for the home team as Cao Wai-Kin
gave them the half-time lead. His stiff grounder had barely crossed the line when the referee blew his whistle, leading to fears that it would be ruled out for going in after the break had been called. Thankfully it turned out that it was just quick reactions on the part of the match official, though it was a close deal - the Titus forwards had just restarted the game when the real half-time whistle went.
Grilled began to take control in the second half, and soon it was just a matter of how many they could score. Martinsson wasted one before he ended his personal four game goal drought with a rather contrived bounce off his shin. He'll take it, though. Martinsson had never been shy about claiming ugly goals.
Wai-Kin then recorded his first brace in eight competitive matches, with a seemingly tireless rush directly at goal. Yue Wee-Cheong tried to hold him off, but Wai-Kin dodged to the side and had the time to place his powerful rising strike. Wang Yukpui could have done nothing at all.
Grilled racked up two more bonus goals through midfield workhorse Shen Kek-Tjiang
and central defender Fabian Bona
, both of whom took their tally to four for the season. Of course, they all knew that the score might have an impact on the final standings, so if they could help the goal difference, why not?