Playing their first S-League fixture away from home for the fourth season in a row, Grilled scalped FC RaZer Infernus handily to deny the ex-champions a triumphant return. The result ran true to form on a topsy-turvy day when all the hosts lost, a phenomenon that signalled that perhaps home advantage is no longer as crucial as it once was.
Sid just missed out on being the first scorer of the new season, that distinction going to Chemistry's Tang Mei-Kuen in the second minute of his match. Tang didn't end up on the winning side, though, while Sid certainly did.
Already having beaten RaZer's Mak Jiao-Long in two seperate Cup finals, Sid must have felt that he had history behind him, after Ola Martinsson
was tugged back by Kitrattana in a pre-emptive defensive move. The free-kick was from twenty-odd metres, and Jiao-Long prudently held up four fingers for a wall to cover the near post, while he stationed himself at the other end of goal.
Sid proved more than willing to gamble on going over the obstacle, and he had a willing assistant in Martinsson, no mean sniper himself. Martinsson made a first pass that convinced Jiao-Long to stay put, before Sid stepped up and curled it straight into the other side of goal.
It was a total nightmare for the aggrieved RaZer faithful, some of whom needed no invitation to pour abuse on the Polish thorn in their side. However, Sid's opportunity came just as well, for Grilled had great difficulty in getting close to goal again. RaZer surprisingly fared little better, as their strikers Daniel Hellell and Gildo Payer were marshalled expertly by the in-form Fredgård and Bona.Hidde van Liere
was at his most entertaining late in the half, which went largely unappreciated by the home fans, many of whom remembered the devastation he unleashed the last time the sides met. There would be no such magic this time, and van Liere ended up with a yellow card for his pains after he retaliated badly to a stinging tackle by Patel.
If Grilled suffered the loss of Rottman, they did not show it, as Han Kok took his move to the middle very well. A far cry from the once-petulant kid wonder who threw tantrums at the most inopportune moments, the ex-U-20 international kept it tight and tidy.
The happiest man had to be Jaan Kadak
, though, as he seems to have finally made good on his promise. True, he did look off the pace for much of the game, but when Paullin tore down the middle he was ready and waiting, level with the last man. The final ball wasn't the best, but Kadak pushed past Wee-Hwa nevertheless and sent it sailing over Jiao-Long for the second goal.
That proved the limit of Grilled's ambitions, quite reasonably seeing that most teams would grab a two-nil away win any day. RaZer got more space to work with as Grilled fell deeper into their own half, and they had one particularly fetching move filled with rapid short passing. Zou Tsu-Yee should have closed it off with a tap-in at the far post, but Sulaiman was as ever not in a generous mood, and flew across goal to roughly reject the ball on the line.