An adventurous 4-3-3 lineup by Division Five swashbucklers neo277 united matched Grilled blow for blow for the first thirty minutes, but were not able to hold out much longer than that. The match might have gone quite differently had the hosts taken their chances, but after Fredgård opened accounts, it quickly proved impossible to get back in.
Wary of a disastrous Cup exit after less-than-acceptable S-League results, Grilled called up a stronger than usual side - Sulaiman requested more games to get to full match fitness, a request which was granted, and the defenders likewise followed their captain's lead.
Changi's neo277 was composed of mainly homegrown talent, and judging from the crammed 21000 seater stadium, they certainly had the support of the neighbourhood. Jaan Kadak
gave them something to chew on early, though, as he effortlessly shrugged off Israeli defender Deddi Ben Zeev and spun a testing strike towards goal. Khairul Azuar Ladzim acquitted himself admirably with a two-handed stop to cheers from the gallery.
The hosts had their moments too, and after their right winger Mohd Tuah bin Abd Rani got on the inside line of Sid, the Polish defender was left with no recourse but to trip him rather clumsily. That earned Sid a disapproving shake of the head from the match official, who reached for the yellow card without further deliberation.
neo277 then had their play of the match, a string of half a dozen passes in defence that cleverly frustrated Grilled's attempts to win the ball back, followed by a fifty-metre punt by Ben Zeev that Yu Chung-Hing brought down brilliantly after racing down the far side.
It appeared to be a foregone conclusion as Yu bore down with the entire goal at his mercy, but his lob was just a bit short of perfect, allowing Sulaiman to stretch mightily to just deflect it around his post. The volatile Egyptian screamed at his absent defence, but was placated a few minutes later as Anders Fredgård
, perhaps trying to avoid being too close to Sulaiman, found himself with a clear shot in the opponents' penalty area and made the most of it.Dani Spirig
burst into life then, and went box-to-box like clockwork as he made it two, then three, for Grilled. Terkel Borup
sliced a fourth past Khairul with 64 minutes gone, and then Kadak, in a hurry to get on the scoresheet, launched into a typical forward's tackle on neo277 midfielder Rashid bin Abdul Rashid. It could have been a sending-off, but Kadak got the benefit of the doubt.
Mohd Tuah bin Abd Rani came into the game, but was unable to make an impact as Grilled dictated the flow of the match. Spirig completed his first professional hat-trick with a sweetly placed lofted ball into the top corner, and Sid finished matters by thumping a routine penalty kick in.