Last Gasp Yadah
Walking on the cloud pushed Grilled Birds to the very end in a crackling game which had both sets of fans gasping for breath. The stakes were high and the players suitably fired up, with Grilled's coach Bakunin coming close to rueing his decision to throw relatively untried Blissenbach into midfield. Walking appeared to be playing with five in the center, sacrificing the wings to take over the field. Their hammering on the gates of Grilled's defence paid no dividends however as Alcántara and Pakpao stood firm. Grilled were noticeably unaccustomed to such a low possession rate, having recently been promoted from lower divisions, and their few breaks spluttered prematurely. Peter Åhsten
's counterattack in the 23rd minute did pass the cramped midfield, and Chiew-Yen displayed foresight as he pushed forward in sympathy to Åhsten's driving run. It was a tough-and-go offside situation, but the linesman kept his flag down as Chiew-Yen stroked it past bin Mohd Yassin, to loud protests from Winning's players and supporters. Tempers ran high, and Teddy MacLennan's hot Scots blood showed through and he got a yellow too. The play clearly belonged to Winning, and they deserved to score when Ouyang Duy-Thanh came in on Grilled's weak left defence. Alcántara spared Bao-Tam when he slid in at the last possible moment. Duy-Thanh went tumbling but did not appeal for a penalty, a rare sight in today's soccer culture.
Mao Leet-Yen went close too ten minutes into the second half, as Pakpao pushed the skilful Si Zhivan in clear sight of the referee. Mao's free kick over the Grilled wall seemed destined for the top of the goal, but Bao-Tam flew across goal to touch it onto the crossbar for a corner. Mao got his goal later on, as he split Pakpao and Alcántara with two quick stepovers and beat Bao-Tam with a tapped shot for his seventh Cup goal. Udank Pal, Walking's Singaporean Indian star, could then have taken over on two occasions - the first time, he lost out to Alcántara at the end of a dazzling dribble, and received Walking's third yellow card for taking a dive. A minute later, he was back to his old tricks again, as he robbed Dai-Lin comprehensively, and Grilled's defenders watched helplessly as he let loose from range. Bao-Tam could never have got near the beautifully-struck shot, and didn't even bother to move as he watched it drift just wide. The crowd was settling in for extra time, with snack-sellers beginning to bring up new stocks of crisps, when winger Aznan Noor Yadah
broke the home fans' hearts with a scrappy goal four minutes from time.