League leaders Neo Toxicants kept pace with Geylang Eagles United at the top of the table as they snapped Grilled Birds' proud unbeaten home league record with a goal in the dying minutes. Grilled again tried an ultra-defensive approach against Neo Toxicants, as defensive midfielder Shen Kek-Tjiang
partnered Lan Tuan-Mu
in place of the injured Nui Pakpao
, with wingers Dai-Lin and Aznan Noor Yadah
both ordered to reinforce the full-strength midfield at all cost. Toxicants' midfield of 31-year old Bengt Persson, German Bernd Fiedler and Mexican Alvarado Baena was solid as nails defensively, and Gary Antonazzo alert as always. The game was fiercely competitive, with Ulf Hjortlind
and van Barneveld both yellow carded by the eigth minute for overzealousness. Toxicants' experienced English strike pairing communicated well, and in the 17th Duncan Duguid put his side ahead off a neat ball shuffle by Antonazzo. Grilled, stung by that, nearly bit back with a bazooka by Noor Yadah, who hit his shot at full stride. Toxicants' vintage defence reacted by deflecting it away. Their wingback Petre Vrabie ran the length of the pitch after Grilled's weak corner, but he playacted on a good stopping tackle from Alcántara and got into the referee's black book.
Grilled looked desperate for an equaliser, and it came early in the second half as Ma Dai-Lin
pushed upfield at an uncharacteristically furious pace. A well-timed cross saw Zhan Ju-Hau
shake loose and claim his second goal in three games, an encouraging return for the orthodox midfielder. Grilled continued with vigour in the frying heat, and Fiedler was lured into tripping Noor Yadah just fifteen metres in front of goal. Dewilde was too ambitious with his strike, and the ball disappeared into the gallery. Grilled slowly ran out of steam, fatally letting Duguid slip in behind Tuan-Mu to hit home his second goal of the game. By then, several Grilled players were moving at a jog, with hardworking winger Aznan Noor Yadah
white in the face. Toxicants' Gary Antonazzo wanted to twist the knife in as he easily burst past the static defence, and would have made it three had Dewilde not expended his last reserves in chasing Antonazzo down.