|Season 50||L||0 - 6||Tournament (Group Phase)|
Scoured By Scallop
Grilled's SG Super Cup vision took a heavy blow as they were again scalped by II.3 club Scallop Soccer Team, by four goals to one. This was the Birds' first defeat of the season, but also one that could hardly be debated, as the fifth edition champions balanced attack and defence exquisitely to smother Grilled's fire.
In doing so, Scallop staked a claim to being Grilled's new bogey team, having beaten them 6-0 in their other tournament meeting. Half their side were new faces, though, foremost among them 24 year-old midfielder hometown lad Rahul Naicker, who had recently worked himself into the first team.
Interestingly, Zhu Changchun
would finish neither match, as a consequence of being sent off in the first, and being injured this time; although Shiya Shaahee
had impressed on the weekend, Niculae Stanca
must have thought that a more conservative approach would suit Grilled more, and set Gleb Dorogan
on the right to tuck in when required.
It appeared to work early on, with the Birds seizing the initiative, but Scallop were prepared and headed off most advances with a composure underscoring their nine-game unbeaten streak. Still, a Chow Ying Lee
with a hat-trick fresh on his mind managed to penetrate in the 18th minute, but Italian goalkeeper Claudio Fasani was no slouch on his feet either, and reached the ball a nose ahead right at the edge of his area.
Scallop were next to threaten as Ling Fuquan
struggled to weigh his duties properly, allowing Veljko Milanić to race through as he futilely tried to spring an offside trap. Qassem Madaini
was left to stick as close to Tuval Machnes as he dared, and fortunately for him Woon Shun An
arrived in time to help out.
The Birds never looked like keeping a clean sheet, though, and several close calls later, one of which resulted in a booking for Abdul bin Jantan
, German defender Frank Beyerlein got a rare goal with a beautiful strike from his right boot. Edmund Kryus
had little chance as the ball sailed over him before finding the top corner.
Scallop then learnt that you just can't keep a determined Chow out, as the forward overcame a paucity of supply to equalise. Sensing that he wouldn't have a Shaahee to depend on today, Chow made a break for it midway in the opposition half, and escaped the attentions of Stanisław Śmiech long enough to crack a stunner past Fasani.
It was clear that Grilled were going to have to score a couple at least to win, with their defence hardly up to keeping Scallop out, but it was the navy blue shirts who turned the screws eight minutes into the second half. Śmiech displayed uncommon agility for a centreback when possession fell to him, as he juggled his way past Madaini and then blasted past Kryus.
The Birds were in deep trouble at this point, with several senior players yelling at each other, most prominently lu Zunwen
's angry words for Seytek Djekshenkulov
as he felt that the Kyrgyzstani's defensive negligence had forced him to take Machnes down and receive a yellow. Sensing this, Stanca could only stop the match by exchanging Gleb Dorogan
, who had been something of a passenger, for Alex Fonseca
This didn't help much, and six minutes later, right winger Paul Pattrick Teckenburg came into his own with a daring dribble that was enough to secure a third goal. Although Scallop had some nervy moments after that, they proved far steadier with their backs to the wall than Grilled were, and Teckenburg cemented victory with a magnificent free-kick in the 82nd minute.