|Season 64||W||4 - 1||Tournament (Group Phase)|
Künnapuu Takes Off
Two seasons after the Birds ran up 4-1 winners against Greek club FC (S)CHALKIDIKI 04 in The Global Trophy, they would once more be drawn with them in Group A, after having sat out the last edition. It would be a very different story this time around, however, as (S)CHALKIDIKI destroyed Grilled by eight goals to two.
Their recent fortunes could not have been more unalike, with Grilled struggling to buy a win, with their Greek opponents riding high in their third division in contrast. In terms of personnel, there were not actually too many changed, with Chan Ze Han
and Islom Davlatov
new to the fixture, and Mohammad Ramli Saliman
absent together with Gene Filippone
. (S)CHALKIDIKI were imposing as always, and introduced Tasoulis Rodanakis and Lester Ysewijn, who both fitted the mould to a T.
Grilled were probably fortunate to have prevailed the last time, and there were some indications that they might yet luck out again; after a rather disjointed and even start, Cyril Künzler
found a lot of space down the right, and dribbled inside, then outside, with fair ebullience. Spotting Chu Xin Lee
peel away, he dragged it back to the always-watchable Number 19, who gamely surprised Rinos Meloyiannis with a splendid first-time effort.
If Grilled were hoping to continue in like fashion, however, they were to be sadly mistaken. (S)CHALKIDIKI's far superior discipline in possession soon had the Birds cut out of the action, and Ryan Daish demonstrated his own speed in the 27th, flashing past Künzler to assist Stefanos Megas. Daish was at it again six minutes later, as he delivered into a packed box, for big Mart Künnapuu to power-head them into the lead.
The Birds were wilting under a barrage, and Kiros Mpampoulas came up the other wing, only to apparently lose it just as he made to round Valentin Batâr
. The quick-thinking Kylian Doeven retrieved the ball before it went out, though, and Mpampoulas swept it in for 3-1 on the second try.
Chu would pull one back as Künzler seemed the only Grilled player to exhibit any spark of creativity, but (S)CHALKIDIKI would reply right before the break, with Künnapuu spot-on with his gamble on a chip. As with the first half, the Birds would begin the second period relatively brightly, but Künzler's thrashed grounder would be kept out by Meloyiannis in the 54th via some contortions; (S)CHALKIDIKI would win a free-kick at the other end in mere seconds, and their aerial advantage again told, this time through Lester Ysewijn.
It was 6-2 for the Greeks barely a minute later, as Hoàng Trung Quá
's concentration broke under the tender attentions of Doeven, and he delivered it straight to Allesandro Swager right under Batâr's nose. That was the end of the Vietnamese defender's day, as he signalled to be subbed off with a dead leg, but not before Islom Davlatov
got booked for remonstrating with the referee.
came on in as high spirits as could be expected, but as if to show just how little difference that would make, Künnapuu completed his hat-trick straightaway, climbing over a disappointingly-passive Neeraj Muthyala
in the process. Grilled weren't taking their few chances at the other end either, as the mostly-anonymous Kalki Parvathaneni
compounded a poor display, with a weak shot at the goalie when put through by Moey Xin Seng
That said, it was belatedly becoming a little more of an actual contest, though it would be Kylian Doeven who would put the cherry on top for (S)CHALKIDIKI, as he gave the ball a good old bang from a tight spot. Grilled might have racked up an extra consolation or two, but Meloyiannis was not in the mood, and pulled off several nice stops, most notably off Neeraj Muthyala
's near-range header in the 75th.