Team Geylang Repeat
National Day provided a fitting stage for the finale of Singapore's biggest expression of friendship and togetherness in football, or so the organizers would have us believe; The players clearly meant to earn their keep, and Grilled Birds, together with Joker 9, SCEFC, kick FC and Carpmael Rovers, lifted the Singapore Community Cup with a perfect 5-0 against Dream Team.
With six wins and a draw for the five-club alliance so far, Grilled knew very well that a seventh would go a long way towards shutting out II.4km Run. Grilled's final opponents would be from the North, the Lentor Legionnaires in their unique purple-and-white tops.
Copying the legions of Roman times, Lentor formed up in two rows of five right from the start, with no designated striker. The two thousand fans who came didn't mind this in the least, as a nil-all draw would count for a lot in their reckoning. Their goalkeeper-captain Ujala Attimarad directed affairs like a general, and Grilled were frustrated badly in the first twenty minutes.
It was not for want of trying, as Grilled saw almost all of the initiative. Lentor found keeping their concentration hard with an overstaffed defence, and Finnish teenager Iiro-Pekka Paula saw himself looking woefully at the other defenders when Anders Fredgård
gave him the slip. Attimarad kept his body low, but Fredgård had too much freedom to slice it into the net.
Young Greek sweeper Pithagoras Troglis was certain that it was offside, and after a heated altercation the referee handed him a yellow card. The friendly also saw the debut of Grilled's homegrown Qiu Swee Pheng
, who will have to improve after doing nothing of note other than sensibly restraining Troglis from getting to close to a match official.
Hjortlind and Spirig made it 3-0 at the break, at which point the entire side toned it down. Israeli wingback Hezi Karny joined Troglis into the referee's book for holding on to Kadak, while Hjortlind lost out on a second goal when he missed Attimarad's crossbar by a whisker.
Hjortlind would pay for being over-energetic in the second half, as he pulled back sharply during a short sprint and barely stayed on the field. Either side of that incident, Bukhari Abd Hamid
and Iulian Socaciu received cautions for messy tackling. It was rather boring fare to be honest, as Grilled were in no hurry to make headway.
There would be one last highlight to sign off a victorious SCC campaign, with Anders Fredgård
going fast and furious into the heart of Lentor's backline. His courageous run might have led to his first brace for Grilled, only for Attimarad to wow the remaining spectators with a sweet one-handed save.