For better or worse, Grilled Birds would pay little heed to pacing themselves, and would engage in an exhibition match at Iranian fifth division side khorasan. Having finished a credible fourth place after coming under new ownership midway through the previous season, head coach Fereydoun Ammamepich had been anything but shy about recruiting new players from everywhere, which left him with a large collection of journeymen. Whether they could gel was another problem altogether, though, and as today's test went, they may have some way to go.
Ammamepich had been experimenting with a 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 too, but his setup for this would be a deep-lying 5-4-1 - which did make sense given the disparity in strength. Left winger and local heartthrob Faraz Farhikhteh would be the obvious attraction for most of the attendees, but there would be little time for adulation, as Bernie Egan
reminded all that Grilled meant business, with a second minute thunderbolt.
Dutch goalkeeper Rudi Bakx could barely believe his eyes then, but to khorasan's credit, they would reassert themselves from kick-off. Lone target man Janne Harjula might not have gotten much of a sniff at Massoud Dob
's goal, operating as far back as he was, but he certainly laid into the Birds midfield with aplomb. khorasan's brand of active pressing would last them nearly half an hour, but its limitations were then shown up by Kalki Parvathaneni
's raw speed for an easy second goal.
The Iranians' resolve took a huge hit at that, as the realization that they had no real way to claw any goals back sunk in. Against this, Moey and Kalki naturally piled it on, with young French fullback Joël Garnier having to look very sorry for himself, as the duo plundered two more goals in the next couple of minutes; fortunately for Bakx, Moey's next lob would go barely high. Brazilian Ernesto Alcalá wasn't doing much better on the other wing, and would have to take a yellow card, for wrestling Heng Dong Chu
to the ground.
took a deserved rest for the second half - though he had nearly no defending to do, in truth - with Bhavya Panigrahi
taking over in defence. Panigrahi's first act would be to jokingly contest a penalty kick with Cyril Künzler
, after a clear trip by Yonas De Ruyver on Bernie Egan
just inside the penalty area. Künzler wasn't about to give it up, and lifted it into the top left for good measure. Five-nil.
khorasan would try to restart their suffocating pressing with sporadic success, though there was again nothing to be done, when Kalki turned on the afterburners in the 55th. Three defenders would be left in his wake, as he zoomed inside from the right with wild abandon, and he recorded his hat-trick with the help of a tiny deflection.
would continue his ribbing with Künzler, after finding his own goal from outside the box, helped by the opposing players' reluctance to put themselves in the way of his shot. khorasan goalkeeper Rudi Bakx gave them their only clear chance of the day, with his flat goal-kick out to Faraz Farhikhteh, who sadly missed to the consternation of the stands. Gilbert Webb
wouldn't, as he indulged himself with an extended advance in the 68th minute.