|Season 49||L||5 - 6||Tournament (Group Phase)|
No Hoho This Time
Chow Chugs On
Grilled scored five against Ho Seh Liao for the second time in less than a month, and fortunately they didn't manage to lose this time. Actually having two proper defenders had a lot to do with that, as Qassem Madaini
and Lin Jungui
had a productive game. Ho Seh Liao fielded eight of the eleven that did the improbable, but could not find their touch on this occasion, coming up with just the lone goal from captain Suphi Özdinçer.
While most eyes were probably still fixated on Woon Shun An
, who is still on only his second competitive appearance for Grilled, it soon became apparent that the show would be stolen by his "twin" lu Zunwen
. lu, who has toiled under the rader for some time, really relished the rain, which became particularly apparent when he chased and caught Portuguese forward Eugénio Soares despite the latter having a five metre head-start, something that would never have happened on dry ground.
That particular incident left Soares splattered, which would be Chow Ying Lee
's fate too as the happenings switched over to the other end. Seytek Djekshenkulov
, who famously had a hat-trick in the last meeting, recaptured some of that form in the 28th minute to find a way down the left, and his low cross in was messily hacked into the net by Chow.
The Birds were turning the screw now, and Diego Armando Urtaza had to make top-drawer saves off Tian Yonghang
and Zunwen, even as central defender Luigi Antonio Giorgiani ate a yellow card to prevent Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
from taking a quick free-kick. They did have their moments, but Lesław Grabarz slipped, if understandably, on an open shot, and Özdinçer then did well to get the ball back, but was unable to close the deal either.
The rain saw no sign of abating, to lu's delight and Ho Seh Liao's detriment, which allowed Grilled to continue just as they had done following the break. After ten minutes of grinding at it, the opposing defence was finally overstretched, and of the three Grilled players that bore down on Urtaza's goal it was Lin Jungui
who was best placed to apply the last touch for 2-0.
It looked cut and dried at that, but the Birds' punishing tempo tailed off and let their opponents back into it. Stanca apparently had not taken the substitution debacle against heimu XI to heart as he took Zhu Changchun
off for newly-crowned Player of the Season Alex Fonseca
, only for Özdinçer to drag his team back into contention with an excellent curler sighted into the far top corner, thanks to Liao Wangsong's set-up.
Grilled appeared unduly shaken by that, and their more pessimistic fans were beginning to prepare for another collapse when Chow Ying Lee
took responsibility for the result. He might not have put his pace on display much this day, which could have lured the men facing him into a false sense of complacency; too late they found out that the Golden Boot winner could go about as fast in wetland as firm ground, and could only turn to watch him dink Grilled's third in.
That was it, as Djekshenkulov happily got his and the team's fourth against Ho Seh Liao two minutes later, with Chow running interference this time. Less gloriously, the Kyrgyzstani then tried to con the referee with an unconvincing fall after losing out on the edge of the box, and Stanca could only shake his head as Seytek picked up yet another yellow. Chow quickly brightened him up with another solo effort for a hat-trick, though.