Lads Let Up
Woon Steps Out
Grilled won their first exhibition match in three attempts as they went seven over a mixed side from Wee Li'l Lads, whose own impressive Cup run only just came to an end against giants Pudgy Penguins. Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
, Shiya Shaahee
and Woon Shun An
all hit braces, but it was Woon who caught the eye with an assured showing from the left.
The Lads gave 36 year-old Liu Chu Long a go at leading the line, while rookies Li How Ze and Asyaari Ikram were handed learning opportunities in midfield. Their lineup was not without big names, though, with next big thing Mak Ting Tong captain for the day, with Greek link man Diamantis Gerasimou an obvious target up front.
Unfortunately, Grilled had fielded one of their strongest combos for the occasion, but despite that it was the Lads who were the more likely to repeat their Cup win of the past. Ikram made the most of his opportunity with a clever lob that sorely tested Dexter Stacey
in the 12th minute, to the naked delight of the visiting fans.
It was a wonder how the Lads didn't manage to take the lead after carving out chance after chance in the early part of the first half, as Mak looked certain to do so only to drag the ball inches wide from only a few metres out, before Maxime Rouan rocked the bar with a header after losing his man.
They continued attacking unabated despite Shaahee making a switch over to the opposite flank and thumping the opener past reserve keeper Tomas Andersson, with Diamantis firing another one at Stacey, but their spell was well and truly broken after Woon soloed through for 2-0 a few minutes before half time. The Birds paid a price, though, as both Shaahee and Seytek Djekshenkulov
were forced into picking up cards for the greater good.
It went all the in the other direction once the second half got underway, with Woon assisting Chow in the 62nd minute after some dogged resistance. Mohd Safri then collected two within eight minutes, moving through the centre each time, as defenders Liew Aik Siong and Chrystian Kopecki finally lost the legs to keep up.
Shiya, who had quietened down, perhaps due to his yellow, hugged the goalline before realising that he could get into the box by himself, did so, and squeezed the sixth in from a tight angle. Woon then did more or less the same from the right side to wrap it up.