FK Torlak Kumodraž 3 - 2 Grilled Birds
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 7531 July 2020 19:10 HTT
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FK Torlak Kumodraž
Grilled Birds
Mihai Sotir (13)
Florian Hipfinger (15)
Gonzalo Trevilla (52)
Bernie Egan (28)
Vikram Mudaliar (41)

Kumodraž Takedown
Trevilla Knockout

The Birds would come down a couple of notches for this week's World Battle tournament game against FK Torlak Kumodraž of the Serbian II.2, but it was hard to fault the players from seeming a little run-down, given their schedule thus far. Kumodraž had themselves been denied at the last sixteen of the Serbian equivalent a week back, which left them with a far lower-stakes friendly leading in to this match, against fifth division opposition. They won it handily, 6-2.
Suspended former Ukrainian U-20 star Andriy Annenkov would spearhead the hosts in a defensive 4-5-1, that had fellow former youth international Nelson Pancorvo, and Josh Waaka, arranged as to facilitate breakaways down the flanks. This was clearly a formation tailored against the Birds' inclinations, what with Mihai Sotir and fellow central midfielders acting almost as additional defenders, but it was not as if Grilled hadn't had to face enough of that.

For Grilled, Kalle ter Berg was restored to midfield, and Bhavya Panigrahi given a start at the back, but the latter would frankly provide scant assurance that he was up to reclaiming his spot. Kumodraž's forwards were allowed far too much leeway in the early going, which provided Jerzy Moser an open look at goal, that ended in him cannoning it off the crossbar. The Birds got their first shot on target in the 12th minute through Chan Ze Han's crafty lob, to which Hungarian custodian István Tóth was just about equal to.

Kumodraž would take the lead the very next minute, as Panigrahi gave up a not entirely-unreasonably free-kick against Florian Hipfinger, only for Sotir to line it up straight past Salah Kamel's attempted headed interception on the outside of the defensive wall, and into the corner of goal. Hipfinger was really flying now, and he would up the hosts' lead to two a couple of minutes later, running in on Gilbert Webb together with Pancorvo.

It would gradually get better for the Birds, as they adapted towards Kumodraž's overcrowded central defence and their own suboptimal condition, and began bringing their own wingers into play more. Bernie Egan was perhaps their most electric player venturing mostly on the left, though it was hardly plain sailing, with him getting booked for slicing fellow former Irish international Thomas Healy down, in the 26th minute. Healy appeared to shrug that off with a smile, but it would not be as funny when he got scorched in Egan's next explosive dribble, that made it 2-1.

The hosts would manufacture the most convincing chances in the remainder of this half, with Chinese playmaker Guan Jin left with the goal at his mercy following a superb 32nd minute counter, and Gonzalo Trevilla similarly from Waaka's swashbuckling raid starting from the right touchline, four minutes later. Both missed, however, and it was left to Vikram Mudaliar to tutor the crowd on the intricacies of finishing, as he Bernhard Traun for just long enough to level it in the 41st.

This made for a fairly-equitable conclusion to the first forty-five minutes, one had to suppose, but there was no hiding that Grilled's players were much the worse for wear. Sensing this, Eren Serpin would make two swaps for the second half: a relatively-fresh Moey Xin Seng on for Vikram Mudaliar, and the underperforming Bhavya Panigrahi off for new face Mateja Jeftić, who happened also to have inherited Panigrahi's old jersey number.

It restarted brightly for Grilled, with Chan skinning Moser from the left, but the Grilled star's shooting touch hasn't been quite itself of late. From this miss, Kumodraž would mount a flying counter, and Mihai Sotir would force a brilliant stop from Massoud Dob on it. The Birds tried to overload Kumodraž on their own reply, but Florian Hipfinger came up with a big interception from Neeraj Muthyala's attempt to play it upfield, and Gonzalo Trevilla soon put them into the lead once more.

This was not the introduction Jeftić had hoped for, but to be fair, this goal hadn't come from his assigned sector. Grilled would find further opportunities extremely hard to come by, much of which would be down to the unrelenting hard work of Guan Jin, who never let up even after getting carded too. Heng Dong Chu's inclusion for Chu Xin Lee in the 75th minute would refresh the Birds slightly, but Kalki Parvathaneni's injury-time miss put paid to their final hopes.

    Soh Long So Forth
    FCBS Slung
    Arcturules Reign
    Kumodraž Takedown
    Londrina Conquest
    Hairi For Z0r0z
    Jeftić Joins Up
    Following In Footsteps
    One For The Ages
    Nine Of Nine
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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