Six Men Score
Grilled Birds rode on the wave of their 5-3 prevalence against FC GBR to engineer another eight-goal game. This time though, Hjortlind was strangely subdued and left it to Joe Stern
to grab a hat-trick for the Birds, and continue his quest to be one of the top Cup scorers. Grilled set the tone against Kcrunchy United, its first true professional Cup opposition this season, as Lan Tuan-Mu
contributed an entirely improbable goal in the second minute, just running "for the heck of it" as he remarked later and somehow getting a clear sight on goal due to Siu-Yue's vision. In the tenth minute, Joe Stern
began his day from a Kolesov pass, as the Bulgarian midfielder showed his adaptability to function anywhere in midfield. No goals followed for a time as Grilled were relaxed by the quickfire two-goal cushion, and the game was quiet until Kcrunchy midfielder "Triple C" Cui Cheng-Chuan got hauled up for pulling at Noor Yadah's jersey in the box. Joe Stern
set the ball down for the penalty, and tapped the ball to the left of goalkeeper Yuan-Pin who guessed right but jumped too high. Kcrunchy were shell-shocked after much-maligned defender Nui Pakpao
forced the ball into the net from a goalmouth melee following a corner. The game was up in the 37th minute, when first Tim Blissenbach
came across midfield to chase down a wayward ball which the Kcrunchy defence thought it had covered. They didn't actually, and Blissenbach just had to take the ball away from the recovering defenders to eke out enough space to fire into goal. Straight from the kick-off, Hjortlind intercepted the ball and fed it down the left for Argentinian wingback Luis Alcántara
. The off-colour captain did enough to ram the ball home, and Grilled were home and dry.
The second half saw Grilled reserve their strength, but still two goals was a meager haul considering how the Kcrunchy skipper and central defender Mohd Zakaria bin Othman seemed to be tiring fast under the merciless sunlight. That left the burden of fending off attacks on their lone foreigner Carlsson, who did a fine job. Grilled were kept at bay for almost half an hour, until Au-Yong Siu-Yue
pulled off an acrobatic attempt which left goalkeeper Yuan-Pin staring. Kcrunchy's striker Chen King-Lok pulled a hamstring, but soldiered on, and nearly scored a consolation goal as Alcántara failed to cut out a straightforward pass, if not for Hang Bao-Tam
's reflexes. By then his team was already eight goals down thanks to Joe Stern
pulling the trigger from well outside the box. Grilled's goal was threatened again as Pakpao was let off with a verbal warning after charging down Teck-Hock as the rebound from King-Lok's shot fell to him, and winger Yang Minho curled the ball onto the post from the free-kick. Teck-Hock was judged to have a badly bruised shin from the sidelines, and it was decided to field Bhavesh Kaicker for the final few minutes, not that it mattered much anyway.