Chem Clam Up
Grilled could do not better than a one-all draw with a strongly defensive Chemistry, but they had only themselves to blame as they were the better side for most of the match.
Chemistry lined up in a 4-3-3 that often became a 4-5-1 with only El Boubakri up top, and dared Grilled to come at them. This the Birds did, and Paullin nearly made them pay as early as the sixth minute, as Spirig sent his fellow Swiss clear of the flat back four. Paullin put it narrowly wide, unfortunately.
Grilled then appeared certain to go ahead as Jaan Kadak
was tripped up in the box, but Brúnó Lantos made a hero of himself by guessing correctly to tip Sid's penalty, which went high down the middle, over the bar.
This was a blow to Grilled's confidence, and they might have lost if completely as Tan Huat De received the ball in their penalty area, after Han Kok's attempted interception fell short. The defender didn't expect to find himself one-on-one with Abed-Sulaiman, though, and was intimidated into ballooning his shot.
Heng Chang Chin was booked for early time-wasting tactics, and Paullin fluffed a second golden opportunity after van Liere gave him an open volley in the 32nd minute. Chemistry got another go a little later, and this time Ho Chin Long found the bar.
Grilled continued butting their collective heads against Chemistry's fortress, and finally earned a penalty in the 63rd minute after the ball appeared to strike Dong Tse's upper arm. This was a harsh one, especially as the defender had his arms close to his body, but the referee was adamant. Sid wouldn't make the same mistake twice, and sent Lantos the wrong way this time.
That forced Chemistry to come out and play, and play they did, crowding the box on a hard-won corner kick in the 75th minute. Abed-Sulaiman was blocked off by multiple players, and Oh Dong Tse redeemed himself with a purposeful header in off the post.
Chemistry then shut up shop once more, and despite all of Grilled's efforts, with Martinsson getting booked for a desperate challenge, they were not able to come close to the visitors' goalmouth again.