Grilled successfully saw off temporary table-toppers Cantik FC to earn their first points of the new season. Cantik had shown good attacking instincts in a high-scoring 5-2 win over Codingin Football Club last week, and were hardly curbed at the Cooking Pot either. In the end, it came down to a single deciding goal that went Grilled's way.
After their devastating flank moves against Codingin, Cantik surprisingly focused on getting through the middle this time. Cantik had in Bill Howard and Magnus Nyland two solid strikers, so it was not an empty threat. Fabian Bona
made an uncharacteristic mistake in the 16th minute when he tried to hold possession, and when his hurried pass came back off an opponent, Howard was there to drive a piledriver past Sulaiman.
It didn't take long for Grilled to find an answer, as Lorenz Paullin
put his pace to good use even in the cramped central area. With no options ahead of him, Paullin allowed himself to be herded slightly wide by Wan Cheng-Gong, only to turn to the inside once in the six-yard box and try a weak strike that Ovidiu Stanciu really should have stopped.
Romanian goalie Stanciu did better the next time, as Paullin swapped positions with Han Kok and once again bypassed the entire Cantik defence. Paullin tried a couple of stepovers to throw Stanciu off, but he wasn't fooled and managed to stick a leg out to deny Paullin a second goal.
The home fans were cheered further eleven minutes later, as Danish lad Terkel Borup
was played through by Jaan Kadak
and crashed a long, low strike in off the far post. Quah ran to collect the ball, but was too vigourous in trying to get the goalkeeper to give it up; The referee flashed the yellow card at him.
It was by no means smooth for Grilled, as Cantik began the second half with a concerted effort to equalise. Israeli midfielder Shlomo Peres collected an over-the-top clearance from the back and threatened to get past Anders Fredgård
, but the newcomer stuck with his man and delayed long enough for help to arrive.
Cantik were at times so pervasive that Grilled had to engage in man-to-man marking, and Paullin was soon booked for getting a grip on Jeppsson's jersey. Grilled finally got the cushion that they wanted when the bullish Kek-Tjiang barged through and rammed a third home. Lesser men might have fallen to the biting tackles that the Grilled strongman suffered, but Shen was made of sterner stuff and rode them stoically.
Just as well that Shen scored when he did, for Magnus Nyland reduced the lead back to one just minutes later. Dutch winger Christophe Schwencke was unopposed as he made ground down the Grilled right side, and Nyland timed his run to perfection to meet Schwencke's low cross with a flying boot.
Han Kok made things even more complicated when he refused to hand over the ball after a linesman's call had gone against him. He attempted to plead his case, but was met head on by a second yellow, then a red card. Martinsson had to intervene to calm the disraught youngster down and lead him off the field.
Thankfully, Cantik were unable to capitalise on their one man advantage, and the closest they came was through Howard's strike from twenty metres. The ball moved unpredictably in the air, but Sulaiman was up to it, and made last-second adjustments to bat the ball away from his goal in an imperious fashion.