Dark Night Dawns
Grilled's change of fortunes in beating Team Singapore turned out to be short-lived, as they went down 1-3 to BlueNite after dominating play for long stretches. It was back to the old story of Grilled's strikers not being able to pull their weight, which has been rumoured to have caused a split in the team's dressing room.
Grilled played with a settled starting eleven, so unfamiliarity could not have been an excuse. Still, there was cause for concern when Spirig's understanding with van Liere was on a different wavelength in the seventh minute, as the Swiss winger played a fast ball forward whilst van Liere wanted it to his feet.
BlueNite's record S$19 million signing Mohd bin Abdul Hamid would not allow van Liere to recover from that, and the excellent goalkeeper dove for the ball on the edge of his own area to snuff out Grilled's threat. Six minutes later, Liu Yi-Ping reacted awesomely to a sidewards pass from Moana to whizz a shot in under Sulaiman's nose.
Sid then was unlucky with an unstoppable twenty metre free-kick that went out off the outside of the far post. Spirig then received a yellow card for bad behaviour, before BlueNite again mocked Grilled's miss by scoring another. Giuseppe Moana was their hero this time, as he cheekily laid the ball between Sulaiman's legs, an act that had Grilled's proud Egyptian captain fuming silently.
Grilled still looked good value for a draw with their midfield clearly the stronger of the two sides, and they responded sharply with a neat team goal after an hour. Quah Han Kok
advanced promptly as Martinsson held up the ball, and was through after van Liere dummied. A pinpoint lob from the Singapore U-20 player sealed the move.
Still one behind, Grilled assaulted the BlueNite goal with all the weapons in their arsenal. Strangely they did not include their sprightly wingers often, and had to wait until the 83rd minute for a near payoff. Spirig, tiring of waiting for the ball to be moved out wide, went inside to provide an additional option.
He could have tied it for Grilled as Ho-kuen stumbled on a wet patch on the turf, but hesitated and was forced into a bad effort by the advancing goalkeeper.
BlueNite then put the game firmly beyond their visitors, with speedy Swedish winger Peter Norrmo turning on his turbo, blasting away Fredgård with raw speed. Striker Suhaimi bin Rasdi happened to be in the right place to tuck the cross away without fuss for his fourth league goal of this season.
Grilled were never the same after that, and BlueNite, encourged by their now animated fans, could have had a fourth as Norrmo ran his heart out. Again, no Grilled defender managed to stick with him, but he decided to go it alone this time and saw a fierce attempt with his weaker foot hit the post.