Lee Jie Siong
had waited a long time for his fourth S-League appearance, his last coming two seasons ago against ChAmPzz. The twenty year-old playmaker must see this as his coming of age, as he took over Rottman after the regular's injury and then rifled in an important third goal with his head to see Grilled through.
Three matches to the end, Grilled badly needed maximum points from this fixture ahead of a tough away trip to Cantik and the season-closer against Winning Eleven. ChAmPzz however were also in dire straits, having just lost to Cantik at home in the last round.
With Zhao Jong-chih stuck in a rut of poor form, not even the evergreen Michael Duvfeldt would be able to compensate and tackle Grilled's engine room alone. ChAmPzz thus logically went for the direct route, naming three strikers and clogging things up in the middle.
Their latest signing, 24 year-old Danish forward Tore Tranberg, brought Fredgård down along with his first touch of the ball. The Swede defender was empathically not impressed, and might have got his own booking had the referee seen his shove on Tranberg's back after the incident.
Grilled tried a new tack by rotating the speedy Lorenz Paullin
into defense to counter ChAmPzz's active strikeforce, while Shen Kek-Tjiang
returned to defensive midfield where his calming influence told. Right winger Dani Spirig
was smart enough to play to the whistle in the sixth minute, but couldn't get on the scoresheet thanks to Per Ödahl's instinctive save.Jon Andrea Rottman
appeared much more creative after he was spared the stopping role in while he has been placed for most of this season, and he enjoyed himself by bustling into the visitors' penalty area despite being hounded at every turn. Ndumiso Mbazia was not willing to commit, so Rottman had a clear kick and made it one-nil.
only 18 minutes were past when Grilled captain Ahmed Abed-Sulaiman
suffered his first injury with the Birds. It appeared a routine catch from an overhit cross, but the Egyptian goalie came down awkwardly on one ankle. The look on his face made it clear that he would not be able to go on, and he entrusted the armband to Shen Kek-Tjiang
before being replaced by Bao-Tam.
Sulaiman's loss was mitigated somewhat as ChAmPzz sportingly returned the ball after it had been thrown behind by the striken goalie, and Bao-Tam instantly sent van Liere on the offensive with a monster throw to the left channel. Several passes were exchanged with Martinsson, and then the Dutch winger signed off with a cool chip with the outside of his boot.Shen Kek-Tjiang
brimmed with energy as Grilled became extremely positive after taking an early two-goal lead. He was superbly effective in his accustomed midfield position, and off a bullish driving run that has become his trademark, Shen nearly made it three. A full follow-through produced a very powerful low drive that Ödahl could not have stopped, but it resoundingly smacked into the upright.
ChAmPzz shortly thereafter made one of their few attacks count. Zhao Jong-chih received the ball at the head of the penalty area, and was not picked up by the otherwise-engaged Paullin. Fredgård lunged in, but missed, and Zhao reduced Grilled's advantage with a placed shot past Bao-Tam.
Grilled would suffer another injury as ChAmPzz played hard in a bid to tie the game up, and Kalle Hägerflod went in on Rottman despite being some way behind the midfielder. The referee deliberated before showing the yellow card, as Alcántara surprised many by motioning for Jie Siong and not Borup to warm up while Rottman received treatment.
The decision proved astute, as Jie Siong ran his lungs out and was amply rewarded by an 84th minute goal that put a Grilled win beyond doubt. ChAmPzz were light in the middle after a protracted attacking spell, and Spirig lofted an early cross in on the counterattack. Jie Siong got his torso in front of Mohd Firdaus to pump the dropping ball to the wrong side of Ödahl.
ChAmPzz ended the day without any points and with yet another caution, this time for Jiang Yah-Lin blocking a free-kick. Judging from their recent run of victories over Grilled, their dominance in this matchup had to come to an end sooner or later - and it just turned out that this would be the day.