Nightstar 2 5 - 4 Grilled Birds
Tournament (Playoffs), Season 7115 April 2019 18:31 HTT
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Nightstar 2
Grilled Birds
Tojiddin Darvishev (2)
Henning Main (29)
Alessandro Maria Civita (50)
Henning Main (60)
Mauro Curto Pelle (74)
Neeraj Muthyala (40)
Chan Ze Han (43)
Neeraj Muthyala (72)
Vikram Mudaliar (73)

Nightstars Shine Down
Valiant Response

Grilled tripped once more in knockout competition, and were dumped out of the Cup der Legenden in the quarterfinals by Nightstar 2. There wasn't too much to be ashamed of, frankly speaking, with the Birds bravely catching up from two goals down, twice in succession; their Kyrgyzstani opponents would have the rub of the green, though, as literally everything that they tried went in.
This was in evidence even in the second minute, with the commentators still covering Henning Main's recent exploits for the fairly eclectic audience. Islom Davlatov wasn't taking any chances as he blocked Alessandro Maria Civita's cross behind, but Davlatov would then have cause to regret his caution - Nightstar 2 had three men lining up for Mauro Curto Pelle's corner, and Tojiddin Darvishev did the honours with Grilled's defence still asleep.

Massoud Dob wasn't sure where to point his fingers at that, but there was still time aplenty to set things right. Grilled's long-unseen midfield pairing of Moey Xin Seng and Neeraj Muthyala were not bad at all, but Nightstar 2's adherence to the basics preserved their lead handily. 29 minutes in, they would be two up, thanks to another much-up from a dead ball. The Birds hadn't learnt their lesson as they watched Main chase the free-kick, and although Gilbert Webb tried to close after the Nightstar 2 captain kept it in, Main managed to finish from a narrow angle.

Undaunted, Grilled kept on attempting to break down the left, with Florus Romijn's having the hottest feet of the moment uncontested by his peers. It wasn't happening, sadly, and Grilled's first big chance - through Cyril Künzler's rampage down the other flank in support - was batted aside by Nightstar 2 custodian Rainer Werner Gfrerer. Kalki Parvathaneni deserved plaudits for being first to it, but Kai Rügenwald's little tug at the end was all the difference.

And then, suddenly, the Birds were level - just like that. Neeraj Muthyala would ghost in from the right, blindsiding the retreating Helímenes Vegas, to lob Gfrerer with amazing accuracy in the 40th minute. Chan Ze Han then banged in a classic striker's goal right before half-time, in a drastic departure from his usual, more calculated style. The bench definitely appreciated his expanded repertoire, with Chu Xin Lee shown on camera shaking his head while clapping wildly.

If punters thought that a Grilled whiplash was in the making, they would be proven wrong, as the match then swung back Nightstar's way. The interval had spoilt Grilled's frame of mind of anything, and Ivan Anakin strove to snatch the flow back for his team, with a tremendous solo invasion right off the bat. That came to nothing, but five minutes later, winger Alessandro Maria Civita's off-balance lump from the corner of the penalty area would drop past a flailing Dob. 3-2.

Nobody had much expected that one to have gone in, least of all Civita himself, it seemed. The Birds perhaps tried too hard to counteract it, and they would leave their right side basically empty, after both Davlatov and Webb offered themselves - recklessly, as it turned out - as targets. Yuta Nakakita couldn't guard both Main and Vegas on his own, and the latter would feed the former for a straightforward finish on the hour mark.

Things really heated up after Hoàng Trung Quá came on for Webb, with the veteran Vietnamese defending knowing instinctively what had to be done in such circumstances. Within two minutes of coming on, he had taken the ball across the halfway line, and started a move that concluded with a second Muthyala goal, played off Romijn at the last.

As before, Grilled rode on the euphoria, and were once more level in the blink of an eye. It could even have been Chan again, but the Birds skipper didn't let his ego overwhelm him, and wisely allowed Moey's penetrating pass to run through for the better-placed Vikram Mudaliar. Mudaliar wouldn't waste Chan's faith in him, as he went for the bottom corner with a simple sidefoot. Mauro Curto Pelle then promptly flipped a header past Massoud Dob on Nightstar 2's next possession, and that was it.

    Hyuga Recruit Lam
    Tigers' Dark Winter
    Lau Bought Boot
    Nightstars Shine Down
    How The Chips Fall
    Roll On Robbie
    Bao Jiak
    Bogeymia Return
    Pride of Farmer
2016-08-01 00:37:41
anonymous: Thanks for the special mention :) I would just like to expre...
2015-08-17 18:50:02
anonymous: excellent read as always!- Yjorn
2015-06-13 03:08:41
anonymous: Rasha say
2014-12-14 16:56:39
gilbertlim: well, it seemed like that.
2014-12-12 18:26:33
anonymous: I didn't play a 4-5-2
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