No Slowing Down
One might have thought that the exertions of winning the double would have led Grilled Birds to muddle through - or even abandon - the post-season tournaments, and Eren Serpin
did indicate that he wasn't expecting anything at all in light of that, but the team would simply refuse to relax. The Birds would find themselves placed 79th of 7806 participants after three wins on a packed first day, including two 6-0 blowouts.
It began against the similarly-coloured The Great Green Arkleseizure of the Swiss VII.383, which had Wu Jinglong
take just seven minutes to register his first assist for Grilled, a sweet through ball placed on a platter for Kalki Parvathaneni
. Bernie Egan
would add two, with Cyril Künzler
finishing up after Klemens Fragstein zu Niemsdorff's late red card. Egan was equally as sharp against Canadian Division Three opponents Diablos' Revenge next, as he obtained a brace along with Moey Xin Seng
and Kalki, in an exhibition of pure striking might.
Milan-based Italian fifth division long-timers Sandman put up more of a challenge in their navy-and-white stripes, though Grilled nonetheless went 3-0 up by the 33rd minute, spurred by Salah Kamel
's second-minute stunner. Felipe Beitia did get one back from a penalty early in the second half, and Bernie Egan
's strike would be followed by a splendid counterattacking goal from Lazzaro Sicuranza, for a 4-2 final score.
"We're in it to win it, I'm not sure why yesterday should make a difference." the ever-combative Chan Ze Han
quipped. "That's not how we should approach the game, surely?"
This buoyancy was not replicated by the other Grilled clubs, sadly, as Farmer Bunnies would have to endure a losing record in their Heroes of 2014 Trophy duties, with a first 1-3 loss at the hands of Danish V.3 champions Sundby United. Nurlan Ablaev
made his consolation for himself, as Sundby prevailed through sheer attacking force, despite an arguably misplaced focus on the wings.
Ablaev's scoring form continued with two against Italian Division Seven foes Anfield_Reds in an easy 6-0, before the Buns lost 1-3 for a second time, to Brazilian IV.11 titlewinners Esquadrão Rubro-Negro. Rashid Nasir al Din
was simply not an adequate stand-in for the recovering Vivian Grubenmann
, as he conceded two very-saveable efforts by Jordanian forward Khalid Hmoud.
Grilled International fared slightly better, although they had to first suffer a 5-3 beating from Colombian Division Three champs Poker de Diamantes FC, whose Cambodian import Vibol Nourn dazzled with a hat-trick. Fausto Perono
wasn't too far off with two set-piece strikes, though, and the Italian would maintain his brace-scoring habits in the next two matches too - first, a 5-2 win over Danish sixth division side FC Skovbakken, and then an epic six-all draw against Norwegian Division Six outfit Jordgubbarna United FC.