Three For Titus
Last Gasp Saver
Titus Titanium IV won their first points of the season with two shock strikes in the closing minutes of the match, with Grilled's experimental 3-4-3 lineup not able to find enough goals to win the match. Curiously, even a 1-3 loss was enough to lift the Birds into third place, after Herron smashed Chemistry 5-1.
It was probably the first time Grilled tried three men up front in a competitive game, but with goals not exactly flowing, the team unveiled van Liere as a support striker instead of wide on the right. Han Kok was rested for the midweek Cup game, leaving Spirig his space in central midfield with Borup the lone winger.
Titus had broken Grilled's fourteen match unbeaten run two seasons ago, and began in like fashion with a fourth minute chance carved out by Tang Mei-Kuen, who last scored against Grilled in Season Thirteen. This time, he tried to turn provider with a compelling short cross, but Bona slid in masterfully to deny Lim Seng Wen a shot.
Surviving that incident, Grilled still played like the 3-4-3 novices that they were, and gave up far too much ground behind their thinner midfield line. Titus had recently purchased two top-drawer midfielders in Javitas Masalskis and Mart Hiry, and true to form Masalskis notched maiden goal for his new club with a surging, mazy run through the middle.
Grilled got a grip on themselves, and began to challenge aggressively for every ball. Kadak, bothering the Titus defence in his usual bulldog style, forced a slip from Kalderon. Unfortunately, Borup was less than ready and couldn't add to his haul of two career league goals.
BIt was evident that Grilled's heavy attack formation was broken, as van Liere especially got little service without his normal dropping back. The team perservered with it stubbornly, and won a reprieve when Shen Kek-Tjiang heaved his way to a forward pass by Spirig and surprised Yukpui with a very decent twenty-metre effort.
The visitors looked more likely to prevail after that equaliser, as Titus appeared to lose some confidence and let Grilled have a go at them. Dani Spirig was outstanding in his newfound role, and came closest with an unorthodox leaping strike that whizzed precariously close to Titus' goalposts.
Just when Titus' supporters were beginning to celebrate their first point of the season while Grilled were feverishly scheming a winning goal, the home side sent their fans into a frenzy. Mei-Kuen staked out Grilled's unguarded right wing while they were intent on offence, and single-handedly hit a precise lob that dropped behind Sulaiman into the far side of the net.
It got even better for them, as Grilled were again caught out while trying to at least salvage a point; This time, it was their other striker who exploited the same flank, but the end result was the same - Lim Seng Wen hopped past Fredgård and unleashed a wicked left-footed scorcher that went in just as the final whistle was blown.