Losing To Winning
Grilled went into freefall mode as their conservative 4-5-1 formation could only restrict a superior Winning Eleven side to three goals, two from Hans Hjorting and one from Gustav Håkansson.
Grilled, despite being at home, limited their ambitions to a point. Drafting Rottman into their regular defence, they sacrificed Hjortlind up front. Despite that, quality showed over quantity and Winning Eleven's player-coach Kim Bäckquist taught Rottman something about effective defending when he changed gears and outran the reluctant defender. Tuan-Mu made his own mistake when he went for Bäckquist without coverage, and the winger simply gave the ball to Hjorting who directed it into the net.
Ten minutes later, Hjorting didn't need any assistance as he caught the Grilled defence napping with a smart run in. He took his shot early instead of taking on Pakpao, chipping Harlow neatly as the ball crept in just under the crossbar. Ma Dai-Lin
alone of the squad mounted a proud response as he wove down his flank gracefully, but Martinsson was never in a position to benefit. Greek national Avramidis spurned his moment when he hit wood after Harlow had gone down prematurely, but the real scandal surfaced when the referee noticed Jimmy Nederwald down with a nosebleed. Apparently Nui Pakpao
had put his forehead into his face. Though the Thai had probably not intended the injury, the referee saw no option but to send him off since the Swede was out for the count.
Grilled were now truly shackled as they were weakened all over, and skipper Gustav Håkansson scored in a free-flowing move from the free-kick. Grilled got into the interval three down, knowing it could have been worse.
In the second half, Grilled experimented with individualistic tactics, and Aznan Noor Yadah
nearly did the unthinkable when he outran all on the side. Kolozsvári intercepted him before he could turn towards goal, however, and robbed him of the ball. Ironically, Pakpao's sending off caused all the Grilled players to pitch in defensively, and the paranoid mentality worked well enough with Harlow hardly getting worked up. Stanton granted Winning their only clear chance when he bounced a routine pass off Rottman's back into the path of Kim Bäckquist. Harlow displayed good sense as he spread himself, forcing Bäckquist into a bad shot as Tuan-Mu rushed back to cover.
Winning's Holland goalkeeper Tom Pinchetti landed heavily and appeared to have stressed his left foot as he plucked a last-second cross out of the air under pressure from Martinsson, but that was the only negative in Winning's day.