Grilled Birds' ambitions of making the last sixty-four in the Trophy of Legends took a huge bump, as they were ousted by Swiss fourth division side musovor, in the fourth round. Noubaryan had been noticeably upbeat going into the contest, but his smile would quickly be wiped off his face, as musovor went 2-0 up in merely twelve minutes. Young Finnish striker Keijo Koukkari shoved a spilled corner into the net by the fifth, and 34 year-old leftback Rudolf Pfammatter worked the overlap on the opposite flank to perfection afterwards, leaving Bhavya Panigrahi
in an impossible position.
The Birds actually looked the better team for most of the half, but created few chances, with Chan Ze Han
and Bernie Egan
guilty of overthinking their finishes. It became three when Naji Rizkallah came through in the 58th, prompting Damian Veitschegger's arrival to clog up the midfield. Ironically, it probably had the opposite effect as Vikram Mudaliar
, Moey Xin Seng
and then Bernie Egan
finally cut loose for Grilled, but Koukkari's second poach in the midst of all that meant that musovor got the win.
"Well, fair play to them." a slightly grouchy Neeraj Muthyala
mused. "I thought we were good value to take it, but it was their day."
Grilled did bounce back magnificently versus U.E. Aranesa of the Spanish V.53, with Cyril Künzler
's elegant nutmeg of Curt Nichols to open, followed by a ferocious Chan Ze Han
brace before half-time. Aranesa's closest attempt came on a 62nd minute Daniel Bontaş counter, unfortunately fluffed at the last moment, and the Birds would put the scoreline up to 5-0 with a one-two Bhavya Panigrahi
and Vikram Mudaliar
The Farmer Bunnies began their day with a 7-1 stroll against Northern Irish third division visitors *The Black Pearl*, who were attired nattily in the black-fading-to-white tops, but wound up only having Stanislav Václavíček's equalizer to show. This led into a 4-0 win against Swiss Division Five club FC Eschenberg in the Heroes of 2014 Trophy, that included a very rare Tham Leng Teck
hat-trick, two of the goals moreover in injury time. The Buns were probably aided by a 38th minute second yellow for Marian Dargent, which robbed FC Eschenberg of much of their attacking threat.
Their next tourney match would be a 2-2 draw against Argentine fourth divisioners Paco Lerte, who were unabashed in offense in their tight 3-4-3 formation. Nurlan Ablaev
made it 1-0 from a challenging angle for a superb solo goal, but Odd Gjellestad levelled from the right some nine minutes later, and a contested penalty in the 50th minute would be fired home by Arnoud van der Haven. Wong Ting Yew
replied in kind several minutes later from a well-attended gathering in the penalty area, on an indirect free-kick.
As such, it was left to Grilled International to be the only team of the three, to triumph in both their second-day games. Danish Division Six club Viborg Ungdom would be their first victims, as Wang Hanxuan
, Fausto Perono
and Osertz Indurain
collected two goals each, in a pretty one-sided display of possessional dominance.
Their next match would be far closer, coming as it was against the Papua New Guinean Wallacean Birdwatching & Lepidopterology Society side, that had hammered a reasonable Grilled Birds reserve side in a friendly some nine seasons ago. It was a see-sawing struggle, as International led 2-0 in the 38th from Zaini bin Hj Kaling
and Wang Hanxuan
, only to be met by Michel Demol's monster of a header. Osertz Indurain
started the second half with a delicate lob, Marzio Licursi and Jan-Pieter Stouten clawed it back for Society, and Fausto Perono
finally won it with a defence-busting sprint with five minutes left.
was a match." Dutch playmaker Tommy Dongelmans
said. "Mangajay Coveny's surely one of the best goalkeepers we have come up against; it would have been another issue altogether if he hadn't been between the posts."