Grilled Birds qualified for their second international knockout phase in a row, as they finished 53rd out of 19992 participants after the ten Swiss rounds of the Supporter Week Trophy tournament. The Birds won all nine games after their opening round defeat, to build on a glittering season.
There would be no room for slip-ups after that initial loss, as the Birds well knew, and they mercilessly crushed Danish team FC Rising - who had just won III.8 for a second time - by eight goals to two. Chan Ze Han
opened and closed the scoring with a hat-trick to boot, as FC Rising staggered to the final whistle with just nine men, after Stefan Kjellsson and Maciej Bienioszek were dismissed for some atrocious tackling.
Grilled were daring to dream again, and Chan again led them to a 3-1 win over Guatemalaen Division Two club Huden Eagles, despite the considerable will of former Angolan international midfielder António Oliveira Nascimento. Grilled's final test would be against Portuguese Super Liga runners-up Sporting Clube da Madeira, who were spearheaded by Uzbek national forward Kil-Sung Kim.
They needn't have worried, and at the end of the ninety minutes, there was only one name on everyone's lips: Bilal Mohammad Harun
. Oft an unsung force in central midfield, Bilal would ghost by Hungarian defender Máté Czukor in the 14th minute, to give Grilled the lead. S.C.M. were arguably the more enterprising side nonetheless, and the Birds would have to be bailed out by Massoud Dob
more than once, before ex-German youth international Jochen Gleichen polished off an impeccable attacking combination down the right side.
It was beginning to look slightly bleak for Grilled, up until Bilal proved his first strike no fluke, as he flighted a perfect attempt straight into former Polish national goalie Jarosław Rozpędek's bottom corner in the 38th minute. There was some anxiety when Grilled skipper Moey Xin Seng
got sent off after 59 minutes for a second yellow, but that only seemed to fire his teammates up, and Bilal would complete his hat-trick in the 82nd with a stunning header.
Grilled forward Chan Ze Han
could hardly hide his pleasure. "We're really flowing right now - I can't wait for the S-League to roll around!"
Though the Buns' chances at the last 64 were already sunk with a draw and a loss on their slate, they would finish strongly with three wins. Violet-clad Luxembourg Division Two promotees Fiorentina '26 would be dismissed 2-0 with goals from Tham Leng Teck
and Mushtag Al-Nameeri
, which was followed by a memorable 4-0 over three-time Bangladeshi league and cup champions FC Baster, which probably flattered the Buns slightly.
Farmer Bunnies' last match would be against Swedish IIa winners De Riktigt Ruttna, and although the Swedes went ahead through Sverker Silfwerin's skilful nod from a corner, they would eventually lose 1-4, with Aswad Mohd Jafni
showing himself to be a plausible left-sided stand-in for Lau Chang Wan
, as he provided the final touch to two speedy counterattacks.
This would be enough for a 535th placing for the Bunnies, who thereby joined the Birds to comprise Singapore's top duo. The EV in 922nd, Arrogancae in 1401th and Vulturii Singapore in 1622nd rounded out the remainder of the top five.
It wouldn't go as swimmingly for Grilled International, who lost two of their last three fixtures to finish 4470th. Fausto Perono
's brace was matched by fellow Italian Samuele Amoruso in a 3-4 defeat to H.I. IV.64 team MGS Nairobi, before a 1-3 loss to Spanish Division Six club FC ST. PAULI SPARTANS. They would at least finish on a high note, with Tommy Dongelmans
sparking a 4-2 victory over Swiss Division Six challengers Emmerauswahl.