Grilled advanced to the Cup quarterfinals on the back of a virtual walkover, as former Western luminaries L3gend had entered receivership a week ago and could not field any of their previously contracted players. Chen Sze Pin pulled a goal back for them in their 1-6 recent home defeat to Roman Legionaries, but Grilled were not in a giving mood and massacred them 9-0.
Before their financial bombshell dropped, L3gend had scalped once-finalists Chemistry and Geylang giants Carpmael Rovers in successive Cup ties, riding to victory on their midfield powerhouse Huang Lai-Man, and to a lesser extent Grilled alumni Chaim Chin-To. With neither of them, nor indeed any of their teammates available for the 8th round matchup, the Birds fielded mostly reserves and easily got away with it.
Rottman was given the left-wing slot to regain match fitness before Sunday's crunch fixture against Winning Eleven, and the only other truly big names were Martinsson and van Liere. Martinsson, who has admitted to chasing the Cup's Golden Boot, was a step off the pace and allowed L3gend goalkeeper Huang Lin Chang to prevent him from scoring in the 12th minute.
Bukhari earned a reprimand from Alcántara after his caution, given after he threw the ball angrily onto the pitch. Alcántara was still lecturing the teenager when Tim Hobson
placed it simply past Huang for his first official goal of the season. Reverting to true poaching form, he had his hat-trick by the 34th minute, and an assist for Dani Spirig
into the bargain.
The calibre of the opposition didn't deter the thousands of Grilled fans from celebrating every goal, and they had more to cheer about in the 55th minute as Martinsson cut in sharply to deliver the goods. The only black spot was Grilled suffering yet another injury in midfield. Jie Siong was the victim of Choi Leng Yun's wild lunge, and Quah had to fill in for his junior.
All one way traffic, as Hobson dispatched a penalty given for rough play in the area, and made it five for himself courtesy of van Liere, who outflanked the whole L3gend defence and left it for Hobson to finish.Quah Han Kok
was pleased to grab only his second goal this season, a paltry return by his rising standards. The artistry of his relaxed pullback and subsequent weighted chip was worth the price of admission, though. Martinsson completed the rout a minute later as he showed no mercy to a bad miskick by Kok De De in central defence.