Kampung United got La banda de hermanos's only concession against Team Geylang, by holding Grilled Birds to a draw. The other Team Geylang clubs all won their encounters by a minimum of two goals, racking up valuable match points as they climb into third spot in the SCC table, with a round in hand against the top duo.
The current IV.29 leaders did not disguise their intentions, with five men at the back protected by three deep-lying midfielders. They were a team that worked for each other, so that was not as much a handicap when attacking as it may have seemed. Their Swiss striker Ricco Braga, with ten competitive goals already this season, even had the very first crack on goal.
Grilled got lucky when they were given a rather soft penalty in the 23rd minute. Kadak appeared to be going nowhere when he pushed the ball heavily past goalie Urban Cade, but Cade took the bait and brushed the striker's ankles. Kadak fell a bit too dramatically for some of the Kampung players' tastes, but the referee was convinced and awarded the spot kick.
Sid lined the ball up, and Cade had no chance. To make matters worse for the keeper, he had to suffer the disgrace of being dribbled past by Kadak after Dutch sweeper Sylvester Michielsen was distracted from his man. Kadak derived obvious enjoyment from putting the ball into the net, even if it was only a friendly.
Hjortlind then picked up a yellow card for kicking the ball away, while Bona defied convention by making his own space down the left flank. The big German defender was not known for moving the ball up himself, but he did well enough to send a good cross straight into the Kampung six-yard box. Klaas Auke Schaffers got up highest to clear the danger, though.
Even better for the visitors, the long header out was misread by Borup, who saw it pass a few centimeters over him. Seasoned Argentinean midfielder Gleb Kim seized upon that lapse, and drew Bona to himself before threading the ball to Ricco Braga. The Swiss was well ahead of Alcántara, and could afford a few seconds of calculation before slotting it confidently past Bao-Tam.
Mohd Firdaus bin Ismail, a promising S$400 000 transfer from West side club JEF United, then copped a yellow card as the last act of the first half. He was racing along the sidelines, eyes on the action in the middle, when he clattered heavily into a Grilled player. It was probably unintentional, but the impact mandated a hard slap on the wrist.
The tempo was raised immediately after the interval, as both coaches apparantly ordered their charges to grab a quick one. Grilled almost got it when Bukhari slid through Kang Woo Sung's feisty challenge and took the ball within ten metres of goal, only to direct it over a relieved Urban Cade.
The goal kick went long, and after Ricco Braga held it up intelligently, Bona conceded a corner kick as Melvin Puckett lined up a cross. The tall Sylvester Michielsen waited until five Kampung players were in the box before hoofing the ball in, and Shen Poh-Chung flew overhead to beat Bao-Tam with a dagger-like thrust of his skull.
The match was tied up again, and Grilled strained to regain the lead. Lack of understanding in the final third of the field severely limited Grilled's options, however, and they finished with only a draw to show for their efforts despite thoroughly dominating possession.