Grilled Birds dismissed Omani II.2 side Omans Helden in their latest Division Battle tourney round, although they really had to work for it against the spinoffs of Germany's Teutonia FF. Regular unofficial tournament winners Helden cut a striking sight in their wine and green stripes, and they deployed in their usual expansive 3-4-3 with heavy focus on utilizing width through overloading flanks on demand, while packing the middle to contest crosses. Former Cameroonian youth international Ibra Ekwe held the package together, as their key playmaker.
They were moreover anxious to turn their fortunes around in the Division Battles, having first been wiped 2-7 by Morocco's Erfoud Tigers and a Erdal Omurtak hat-trick, before falling to Walenty Chrząstek's lone winner for Luxembourg's Fc Beddini. At a minimum, they wouldn't have to wait long at all to make their mark today, after Portuguese winger Alberto Montes made the most of the space afforded him by Islom Davlatov
in the ninth minute. It all went to the plan for Helden as the Birds couldn't mark all their players n the box, and Jalal Duru would retrieve the weak punch-out by Dob, dart down the right, and drag a low shot across and in.
Davlatov appeared to have taken that very personally, and he struck back within the minute, as Moey Xin Seng
reminded all that he had a mean delivery on him too; Fabio Aprea chose not to try and contest the cross, and was entirely flatfooted after Davlatov nudged Charlie Baker aside for essentially a free header. The passionate Uzbek wasn't done either, and he would supply Chu Xin Lee
from a direct sprint to the corner flag ten minutes later, for an easy 2-1.
There wasn't much defending going on at this stage of the game, and the match would be all tied up again on Helden's next possession, which ended with Hugo Modrow feeding Davron Pirmatov from the left this time. Bilal Mohammad Harun
soon had Grilled back in front with his trademark cannonball at full tilt from outside, but Ulisse Gröbly would complete Helden's forward scoring somewhat before half-time with a magical blind lob, basically unsaveable.
Grilled were probably slightly on top for that first half, all considered, and they adjusted for the second by taking an under-the-weather Chu Xin Lee
off, for Vikram Mudaliar
. That did the trick, as Helden's tenuous grasp on midfield weakened further, faced with Mudaliar's raw energy. Ekwe and Baker did what they could, but Helden were gradually forced onto the defensive, and Bernie Egan
put Grilled ahead once more in the 69th minute thanks to a scorcher in down off the crossbar.
The match was decided in the next five minutes, as Islom Davlatov
capped an incredible individual performance with another towering header from Künzler's assist, before Chan Ze Han
busted Helden's increasingly-harried backline for 6-3. Egan would unfortunately narrowly miss a fancy volley after that, but it wasn't as if the Birds needed it. Yuta Nakakita
and Leonard Nguyen
would make an appearance as they wound the tempo down.