Atlantidi Kept Out
Pennsylvania-based Atlantidi of the American IV.1 would be entirely overshadowed by an unleashed Grilled XI in the Pacific Cup today, all the more as they had neglected to field a full team for the fixture, after a bout of food poisoning had ripped through their travelling squad. Their ten men were not without their merits, foremost amongst them team and national legend, Dwayne Smith; unfortunately, his undoubted aura was hardly enough to negate harsh reality.
Grilled were confident enough to have the off-form Chu Xin Lee
and Heng Dong Chu
back in their starting lineup, and a couple of hiccups aside, they would warm up to the challenge. Atlantidi were no mugs for a time, and a first half-hour that was relatively even saw just the one goal - Moey Xin Seng
's lob of Pantaleo Zanni, which could have been slightly lucky given that Moey appeared to have meant to put his boot through it. Eleftherios Ntaikos did well to put the ball into the box from the left flank in the 24th minute, but Leonardo Farina missed by miles.
The lows for Atlantidi would soon arrive, beginning with Chan Ze Han
's waltz through the middle for 2-0, after 32 minutes. The toll of playing with a man disadvantage came crashing down on them about this time, and the next six minutes would see the Birds score four more times, through Chu, Mudaliar, Egan and then Chan once more. With Pendle Hill Conures already up through Tor Helge Myklebust in the other group match, Atlantidi's chances of progression were closer to none than slim anyhow.
Kalle ter Berg
came on for Chu Xin Lee
for the second half, as the Dutchman looked nearly wholly cured of his back complaint; again, Atlantidi would be able to put up a credible resistance initially with the benefit of rest, and they would in fact find the first shot on target for the half, through Celestino Corrente's immense efforts. Jānis Salmiņš
had read Corrente's run correctly, though, and cut the Italian off in the final phase of his dribble.
Atlantidi continued to hang on with admirable stubbornness, but Wu Jinglong
's injection on the right wing would fire Grilled back up, as he usually does. The immediate consequence was Salah Kamel
supplied for the seventh goal, with player-coach Johan Arlati booked shortly after for too much shirt-tugging. Vikram Mudaliar
would complete his hat-trick in the time left to him, with Mateja Jeftić
passing up the opportunity to take it into double digits.