Led Into A Trap
was light on the praise despite the Birds' winning start. "A useful win, but short on flair." was his summary verdict.
"We will have big trouble with more-settled teams, if we play as we had." he clarified. "United were clearly still working into their system, and despite that, we created very few real chances from open play. Good on Islom Davlatov
for covering so much ground and continually pushing forward, but that's about it."
The +2 goal difference was enough for Grilled to claim second spot in the II.2 table, behind only Mia San Toa Payoh, who steamrolled an unrecognizable Be Champions FC 6-0. Next opponents Kim Tae Hee FC also managed three points, Pier Federico Lissandrin finding the only goal in a closed game that saw two Robbie Football Club starters incur injuries.
Promoted clubs Joker 9B and Real Balmoral demonstrated that they were no pushovers in playing out a 1-1 draw, which was probably the most finely-balanced contest of the day. Balmoral arguably held the edge despite being away, and Manne Dehlfeldt opened for them in the 68th minute. They then had the chances to close it off, but Joker 9B rescued a point through winger-turned-forward Subri Rafi's expert chip over Gianpaolo Pezzoni.
Farmer Bunnies went top of II.3 with their 6-0 over Parkway Paladins, who had downsized in much the same fashion as BCFC. Aswad Mohd Jafni
was the main beneficiary of Paladins' dedication to shackling the Buns' strikers, as he popped up with two goals from left wing. Ibrahim Zahran Al-Maashany
and Sim Leng Cheng
did at least combine for a classic one-two punch in the 27th.
Ambush F.C. and Ropelearner FC were the other winners in an entertaining first round, which strongly suggested that a passive approach would be very tenable in this league. Terillions FC appeared well on the way to make it a clean sweep for the counterattacking teams, but Between a Walk and a Hard Pace came back strongly to claim a two-all draw.
Finally, Grilled International's title defence got off to a bad start, with Black Trapper pulling off a 2-1 upset at Burung Memorial Stadium. Osertz Indurain
got International's consolation four minutes from time, after a late burst from Trapper caught International napping.
Schorschl and AC Uettligen took the early pace with huge wins, but Player of the Season Wang Hanxuan
- who excelled especially in the first half, but to no avail - was insistent that International keep their sights firmly locked straight ahead. "We can make up for this, but not if we get distracted."