Fool Me Twice
It was heartbreak for Grilled International against Italian side The heart of the fool, who defended their spot in H.I. IV.60 with a 2-0 home victory. This came despite the restoration of Fausto Perono
to the International starting lineup, undoubtedly the hottest news in Temburong in the hours leading up to kick-off.
International didn't disappoint in terms of their possession stats, but their magenta-and-black-clad opponents remained exceedingly comfortable on defence. Strict Ugandan referee Kafeel Balikuddembe aided their cause with his frequent calling of fouls, and his carding of Subhi bin Hj Ahmad
for what looked like routine shirt-pulling after only six minutes severely dampened International's combativeness.
The Fools preferred to attack in modest numbers, but this was enough in the 33rd minute, when Belgian left forward Eewoud Corcoran took Soo Kiong Yau
out of the equation, allowing Artur Połowniak in to open the scoring. Soo's misery was compounded when he fumbled his finish on the best International advance they had yet assembled, early on in the second half. This would be countered expertly by the Italians, who put the game to bed with Fabrizio Papalia sweeping it past Querubim Santos Couto
That was the signal for the talismanic Micky bin Kadir
to enter for the unprepossessing Ragib Banović
right before the 60th minute, together with Sabli bin Huzaimi
. They would be unable to change International's fate, sadly, as The heart of the fool put everything in defence, as they had every right to.
Sazwan bin Hj Muhd Salleh
, who saw his mastery of midfield go unrewarded, preferred to look to the future. "We're still a young team, and have plenty of time to prove ourselves. The league will be more competitive next season, with AC Uettligen and Hel joining the fray, and hopefully we leave no doubt that we belong in Division Four even so."
Somewhat southeast in Yemen, there was pain of a more physical form for the Bunnies' Kwek Yun Jie
, as his milestone 25th cap for Singapore was cut well short by a Badr Al-Haimi knee to his dangly bits. Chandran Shetty replaced him, and the remaining 70 minutes or so dragged on without incident, as the international friendly ended goalless.
Very fortunately, the Bunnies medical team diagnosed no permanent damage to Kwek, but head coach Sikong Darong
confirmed that Kwek would play no part in Sunday's fixture against Dalbottens BK. "Trust me, he needs all the rest he can get - it's still on ice."