Sid, Bona Maimed
Grilled's season took a sharp downward turn, as not only did they crash 0-4 at home to Codingin Football Club, they also lost two of their three first-team defenders to month-long injuries, severely limiting their options against Uchiha Clan in Wednesday's Cup showpiece.
Grilled were clearly prepared to lose the points in return for a shot at another glorious Cup run, and drafted Dani Spirig
into a four-strong defence while sacrificing Jaan Kadak
up front. The match went satisfactorily to Grilled's expectations, as Sid shaved Codingin's post with a delightful free-kick before their point man Jordan Himes bit back with a header out of the blue, that Sulaiman did well to parry.
All hell then broke loose just as it appeared that the tame first half would wind down without incident. Codingin's Geppino Lucchese was never known for being a hard man, but his two-footed jump into Sid ranked among those of soccer's worst butchers.
Miraculously, Lucchese escaped the red card even as a drip was hurried onto the field for the unconscious Sid, with the referee Mario Gimeno Soriano belatedly explaining after the game that he didn't think Lucchese's horrific tackle was "premediated". No matter, as an unprepared Seng-Huat was rushed in as replacement, and the discomfitted Grilled side promptly leaked two goals to Jordan Himes and Bay Mulrain.
The worst was yet to come, as Grilled would leave their field without another man. This time it probably wasn't intentional, as Bona and Himes both leapt heavily into each other contesting for a high ball. Bona ate an elbow into the side of his skull in the process, though Himes had his back turned.
Bona went down without any attempt to break his fall, and the paramedics had to rustle up another stretcher from the storeroom for the big German. He was quite unconscious, and several of his Grilled teammates, already incensed, were ready to confront Himes. The fans were furious too, and empty waterbottles rained onto the track nearest where the incident occurred, although no-one was hit.
Alcántara was up in arms and did away with protocol in joining his players in running up to the referee on the field, arguing his case. In the event, security personnel had to form a human chain around the embattled officials before they could be escorted into the tunnel. The second half was delayed for twenty minutes as match stewards struggled to regain order, and for a while it looked as if the match would have to be abandoned.
The teams were persuaded back on, however, but Grilled never got back into it, with Quah being almost completely unschooled in proper defending. Mulrain notched his second while Miao Chih-Chien got a brilliant looping shot off, both of which went unappreciated by an increasingly belligerent crowd.
The game ended on an ugly note as Borup and Fredgård were booked for the home side while Swiss playmaker Josef Thiébeaux picked up the visitors' third booking, and the referee wisely made his way to the exit even as he blew for full time.