Hineys Kicked Roundly
Návay Says Nay
Grilled faced down former Norwegian Emerald Challenger Cup winners Einebakken Kickers with no great expectations and satisfied them, as they managed a sole consolation in a 7-1 hiding that didn't flatter the Norge team in the least. An outstanding midfield brought back memories of the Birds' own glory days for some veterans, with 32 year-old Hungarian striker Olivér Návay definitely a man on top of his art.
With little to lose, Grilled had no compunctions about attacking, which however likely served them well in a comparatively bright start. Moey Xin Seng
was clearly not quite up to his Einebakken counterparts, but he about made it up with a fierce determination that warned them off more often than not.
Heart was never going to be enough against a side of Einebakken's stature, though, and they would duly go ahead through nippy Croat Boris Silić, who ran past the increasingly-static Yuki Irie
when Milaim D'Andrès came calling down the right side. Incredibly, Grilled would be a whisker from equalising a few minutes on, from Neeraj Muthyala
's kick on the spin that nicked the post.
There was no question about who was dictating the terms, and Olivér Návay would put the Kickers three-nil up by the 38th minute - first through a neat dribble down the middle, and then from an intricate free-kick play that Einebakken somehow felt compelled to use.
Grilled barely got a glimpse, and their big break would come when D'Andrès got hauled up for pulling Florus Romijn
back on the wing. Thinking quickly, the Grilled winger played it on for Kalki Parvathaneni
without waiting for the whistle, and Parvathaneni managed to get it to the lurking Islom Davlatov
That was little more than token resistance, of course, and despite Djan Bacelar
understandably taking Yuki off for Hoàng Trung Quá
at half-time, the Birds would only fall further and further behind. Every Einebakken move had the feel of a possible goal, and fullback Hergen Schwardt indeed scored on their first serious assault of the second half, after he brought a wild deflection under control calmly.
Návay's hat-trick came in the 65th, as he wriggled his way clear straight through the middle, leaving Yuta Nakakita
with an exasperated expression on his face. Goalkeeper Valentin Batâr
could not in good conscience be blamed much for any of the prior goals, and he would moreover stand his ground well against Gabriele Santagati's convincing feint, five minutes later.
They weren't exactly done, though, and Milaim D'Andrès blazed unstoppably through the middle, after having drifted there almost imperceptibly. Návay somehow put it over after being handed one on a platter by his captain, but Ezz Eddin Nasr El Din would put the bow on it, with a big deflected header off a tempting D'Andrès cross.