Nov@team 2 - 3 Grilled Birds
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 7524 July 2020 19:10 HTT
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Grilled Birds
Maikol Hernández (7)
Roc Pallarès (35)
Salah Kamel (27)
Bernie Egan (74)
Kalle ter Berg (81)

Nov@ Overturned
Kamel Reply

This week's World Battle opponents for the S-League were the Cuban II.3, and the Birds were matched up against current Copa Desafío Rubí holders, Nov@team. Indeed, they were only a few days off their 3-1 cup final victory over Dioses Purépechas, and it was perhaps not unexpected that many of those involved - such as ex-Swedish U-20 forward Soran Gewran, and Filipino national team prospect Michael Li - would not start today. Swiss fullback Massimiliano D'Anna would however be an exception, despite having to be subbed off with a calf strain then.
Grilled, having their own cup test before them, had every incentive to keep their momentum going, and they wouldn't skimp on the lineup. Salah Kamel, starting on the right wing today, would clip an off-balance half-volley narrowly wide after barely two minutes, after Chu Xin Lee had skipped a cross across the penalty area. The opener would however be Nov@team's, as Maikol Hernández flipped Francisco Javier Gamboa's delivery home, reprising his 87th minute finisher in the cup final.

The Birds' indifferent form in tournament play looked set to continue, as they were constantly outflanked by Nov@team in the early going; 24 year-old support man Juan Gregory exemplified this period by going clear through on the right, and Massoud Dob was fortunate to have Gilbert Webb absorb the bulk of that effort. Grilled wouldn't be entirely without chances of their own, though, and Chu Xin Lee would do quite well offensively against former Andorran youth international Roc Pallarès, actually. Chu bent another excellent cross into the box in the 27th minute, and this time, Kamel successfully elbowed Cătălin Bălănescu aside, to score from a thumping header.

Pallarès was definitely far more outstanding when attacking too, and he would get his own back about eight minutes on, doubling up on the other wing to leave Webb hopelessly outnumbered. Bernie Egan would be at the forefront, as Grilled battled mightily to try and equalize again, but Nov@team would manage to direct play to the periphery whenever possible, leaving Egan not much time on the ball.

Roc Pallarès would exit for Slaheddine Alouini as José Luis Ávila rejigged his team during the break, with Juan Gregory and Gus Clarke - now with the captain's armband - also switching positions, when the Cubans retook the field. Nothing much of note happened in the next fifteen minutes as both teams struggled to find a rhythm, and then it was Eren Serpin's turn to make his changes. Chan Ze Han replaced Moey Xin Seng, also as the new skipper, while Yuta Nakakita came on for Bhavya Panigrahi.

That did at least spur some action, so it seemed, as Grilled started to turn the pace up a notch or two. Kalki Parvathaneni would begin to get especially threatening, sprinting inside from wide right, and it was only with great effort that Massimiliano D'Anna kept him under wraps. Ávila recognized the likely outcome were D'Anna to be saddled with this responsibility, and would soon take him off for a fresh and spry Ejner Høy.

While a wise move, that couldn't hide the fact that the Birds were finishing the stronger side, and they would level it once more in the 74th minute. With Nov@team no longer able to direct it outside, Grilled would set up camp around their penalty area, and the breakthrough came when Chan Ze Han turned Maikol Hernández beautifully. That gave the attack precious additional room to operate for a few seconds, while Bernie Egan took advantage of, and Chan spotted. The goal itself was not too out of the ordinary, as Egan calmly rolled it to Ramón Rui's weaker side.

Nov@team were just hanging on now as Grilled closed for the kill, and Kalle ter Berg's newly-found taste for shooting would rise to the fore, as he forced Rui into an acrobatic save from his 77th minute rocket aimed at the top right corner. Ter Berg would score on the second try, as he scooted right between two opponents, before getting the weight on his lob exactly right.

    One For The Ages
    Ten Into The Final
    Three Days Later
    Nov@ Overturned
    Giants Crush Intl
    Significance Condensed
    Bots It Is
    Tagor At Matekendornia
    Proud & Out In Front
    Execution By kala811s
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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