Heady Hjortlind Heaven
Grilled hit five without reply past Shadow Chaser FC, and their escatic supporters had to go back to the 7-0 victory over Even FC a season ago to recall such a comprehensive home victory. In that game, Chiew-Yen achieved a hat-trick, and this was Hjortlind's turn as he headed two past Cheng after being gifted one by Aznan's speed, cementing his status as an all-round striker. Grilled were still smarting from Wednesday's 2-3 Cup loss to NutsZ, but Zhan Ju-Hau
got the home fans to forget all that in a hurry with a neat lob with the inside of his boot after Grilled had pressured Shadow Chaser FC in the center. Dai-Lin got the thumbs-up for his part in that. The next one came from the opposite flank as Aznan Noor Yadah
got in front of Cao Long to scrape through to Hjortlind, who pumped the ball hard and low. Hjortlind's second came in the 37th minute as he rose highest to meet Ma Dai-Lin
's chipped cross, and put it to the far corner with a swish of his head. Perhaps because they did not really believe what they were seeing, the fans seemed a little too subdued. Further luck came Grilled's way as Shadow's Swedish midfield maestro Mats-Erik Jansson had to hobble off after a collision with Kek-Tjiang. He had been somewhat off-colour since his $10 million transfer, though, and Qi Jin-Ming made for an adequate substitution. Canadian forward Joe Stern
did not let up, and almost broke his league scoring duck with a wicked shot which span off the outside of the post to his consternation.
Shadow's veteran Stefan Raskborg did an admirable job of holding the fort in a weakened four-man midfield, and nearly sparked a revival as he tested Bao-Tam to his limits with an opportunistic first-time blast. Lan Tuan-Mu
had to go in hard to stem the attacking tide, and got cautioned for a bad tackle on Shadow's budding striker Ming Hsien-Feng. Zhan Ju-Hau
gave the visitors a scare as he was denied only by the woodwork on a counterattack. It turned out that his shot had brushed a defender's arm on the way, and regular penalty taker Stern let wingback Johan Dewilde
take the spot kick after some discussion. Dewilde executed a classy one right into the bottom left corner. The misery was not over yet for Shadow Chaser FC, as Hjortlind, hungry for his second career hat-trick, sprang like a man possessed for Ju-Hau's whipped cross in the 73rd minute. English defender David Eric could not deny him as Hjortlind made full use of his forehead to slam the ball in forcefully. The stands exploded on that one, as Hjortlind pulled his shirt over his face for a little jig at the corner flag, and the match ended with his name still echoing around the grounds.