|Season 51||W||4 - 2||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 49||W||5 - 1||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 49||L||5 - 6||Tournament (Group Phase)|
Out Of Style
It was not completely unexpected that Grilled's experimental lineup would be beaten in the final dead rubber, but Ho Seh Liao bowed out on a real high by dealing the Birds' reserves a double-digit pasting. It was certainly not the best way to rebound from successive league defeats, but Grilled could at least take solace in coming out mostly unscathed in terms of cards and injuries.
Seldom-used defenders Rashid bin Ahmad
and Liang Liyong
were given a go in central defence, and it must be said that they didn't pad their resumes particularly well. Poor Dan Seng
was a near-wreck towards the end, but the major culpability would lie with the engine room. Gleb Dorogan
and Alex Fonseca
showed their age quite badly, while twenty year-old Lin Ah Chu was game, but also hopelessly on a different wavelength.
In contrast, Ho Seh Liao fielded their first string, captained by German midfielder Suphi Özdinçer, driven by the flashy Matteo Padula, and headed by the mercurial Eugénio Soares. It was Soares' countryman Nuno Ricardo das Neves who sidestepped Liang to supply the first, though, with Kristi Idrizi coming from very deep to score with a booming shot.
It got no better when Lim Tian Beng, affectionately nicknamed "Chao Keng" by the Ho supporters for his languid style, stood his ground and took the ball off Winston Chan
in defence. The former Pizza Boys United U-20 player then showed that he could move fast when he put his mind to it, outsprinting Rashid before rolling it past Dan.
was a bundle of nerves by the time Eugénio Soares bore down from the left, and he dived in far too eagerly at the forward, who read his intentions all too simply. That was three, and Chow Ying Lee
, who started in the hopes of embellishing his tournament record, got a rather silly yellow card for throwing the ball into the crowd after failing to get a long ball under control.
Young Khairul Hisyam Ridwan showed just how far ahead he was compared to the similarly-aged Lin in the 33rd minute when he burnt the Grilled midfielder with a composed turn, and then headed another in three minutes later as Seng came out for a cross, but ended up getting nowhere near it. Soares then beat Rashid for pace to make it 6-0, with the Birds' only concrete accomplishment being to force Matteo Padula into a booking.
Although the result didn't matter, it still reflected slightly badly on Grilled, and acting coach Luis Alcántara waved Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
and Shiya Shaahee
on for the second half. However, while the two were always up for some football, Grilled's deficiencies in midfield proved too much to hide, and with central defender Luigi Antonio Giorgiani in great form, even a consolation looked unlikely.
Giorgiani put his other skill to good use in the 51st minute, after Fonseca had brought Soares down just inside the penalty area. It was one of Dan Seng
's better efforts on the day, as the third-choice goalkeeper sprang to the right side, but Giorgiani had struck the penalty too well to be kept out.
Ridwan completed his hat-trick through another slightly-fortunate header as the Birds looked completely beaten, and Nuno drilled a ninth in before Soares claimed a third of his own, with left winger Dennis Kong
totally off the pace.