Grilled Birds Roasted
Hansen Beats Hang
FC GBR taught Grilled Birds a lesson as the Birds sank 1-0 away in front of forty-eight thousand spectators. The slender losing margin flattered Grilled greatly, and truth to tell had they clung to a goalless draw it would have been an injustice to FC GBR. It was not to be construed that Grilled were lousier all over, as the four-man backline, assembled to some effect against Bluedragon in a previous match, were critical in the priority for the day, one of damage limitation. Grilled Birds had last been in the same league as FC GBR four seasons ago, when Grilled Birds finished last in IV.11 after being inducted into the league system three matches from season's end, and FC GBR promoted to Division Three. They didn't meet then, so this was the first encounter between the teams. Many of Grilled's players were familiar though with FC GBR's omnipresent Swedish striker Örjan 'Pavan' Falkenstål, a player who was well-known even at that time and who now has a hundred and forty three goals to his name and currently second on the all-time top scorers' list in the Singapore leagues. No surprise then that Tuan-Mu was a bit daunted when he broke through, and it required a mob of players to rid him of the ball. It had just been barely cleared when Peter Hanson brought the ball back in as Dewilde was nowhere to be found on the right. Meeting no resistance, he blasted the ball into the net. Some of Grilled's players relished the challenge, and Tellskär got a bruised hip after Rahmgård bumped hard into him. Grilled somehow thwarted FC GBR's advances time and again, and although Grilled never held the ball for longer than half a minute at any one stretch, they reduced the opposition to only a handful of shots too.
Grilled went into the second half lifted by a pep talk from Bakunin, and the entire team was jubilant when Shiu-Hun took Zhan Ju-Hau
on the edge of the penalty box. Dewilde and Alcántara were already lining up for the free kick when the referee pulled out a yellow card for Ju-Hau. Deprived of a lifeline, Grilled packed into their half in near desperation as ex-national midfielder Ma Zhong-Yan and sidekick Jan Åhlsjö had Tellskär and Zhan Ju-Hau
in a twist. FC GBR were camping on Grilled's turf, and their leftback Nils Thorkvist would have seemed a forward to the uninformed as he spent more time in Grilled's defensive third than his own. He nearly killed off Grilled's hopes with a killer header from the side of the six-yard box, which Bao-Tam reflexively punched upwards to safety. FC GBR winger Tomek Krysiuk was cautioned for a dangerous tackle on Ma Dai-Lin
, who did have some seconds of individual glory with his footcraft. Romanian striker Dan Ilie roamed ever more threateningly as the game progressed, forcing Tuan-Mu to new levels of performance. Grilled did not make a pretense of striving for an equaliser, and were satisfied to put the ball anywhere as long as it was out of their own half, and in this manner kept FC GBR out for the remainder of the game.