Grilled Birds 2 - 1 Bandits Utd
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 7726 February 2021 21:00 HTT
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Grilled Birds
Bandits Utd
Kalki Parvathaneni (6)
Bhavya Panigrahi (33)
Josué Bails (37)

Bandits Captured
Kalki Bailout

It has been ten seasons since the last edition of The Global Trophy, and after embarassingly losing all three of their Group A games then, Grilled Birds would get off to far more auspicious beginnings in Group E. Scottish II.2 side Bandits Utd tried to replicate Excalibur Lions' earlier success to the tee, and to tell the truth Grilled weren't exactly at their best either, especially in terms of their finishing. They remained decent enough to take the win, fortunately, with the Bandits' Argentine winger Josué Bails also missing more than he should have.
Having just promoted from the third division, Bandits Utd were having a tough time of it in their new environs, with but a single win against Lochaline United to show after six rounds. Czech head coach Grzegorz Marks had not reinforced his squad since Bails' arrival a full season back, but with one of the strongest defensive crops in the land - including current national team regulars Scott McIndoe and Taylor MacLeman - this was perhaps not an unthinkable policy to have made.

Of course, for the Birds, it was more of the same, and they would if anything throw even more of themselves into the attack. It sure wasn't like the Bandits were about to lead the game, what with Dutch poacher Yuri Ubink very purposefully hanging off Bhavya Panigrahi's shoulder, in preparation for a spot of robbery.

Problem there was that this relied on Grilled Birds to commit mistakes beforehand, which was hardly a dependable tactic if they were in the mood - and Kalki Parvathaneni definitely was. Observers had whispered about a dip in form for the Number Ten in open training, but there was very little sign of that, as the speedstar absolutely tore past John Anderson in the sixth minute. Although known as an aerial specialist, the Bandits skipper was hardly known as a slowpoke, which however mattered naught in this case.

Anderson's teammates certainly weren't expecting him to be beaten so cleanly, and help wouldn't arrive until after Kalki had released his drive at Mikey Pollard's far post, and it was so well-struck that it went into about the only channel possible. Now, Pollard would not have all that much to do as the Bandits' backline was mostly sound, and it was not until the 22nd minute that he would be seriously tested again, this time by a similar angled strike from Teo Chuan Yong.

The wrestling for tactical supremacy would continue, and the more abstractly-minded spectators would well appreciate the two teams' careful probing for weaknesses, without committing too much. This was probably to the advantage of the Birds given their more advanced positioning, and McIndoe would discover to his chagrin in the 33rd minute, that he had less backup than he thought he had. MacLeman might have managed to stop Mudaliar, but he hadn't accounted for Bhavya Panigrahi bringing up the rearguard for the second goal.

With that, the Bandits had to force the initiative, and one would soon wonder why they hadn't tried it earlier. Yuri Ubink's slick footwork nearly got him inside at the first asking, and although the Birds reversed it into a free-kick on the edge of the Bandits' box, that would in turn be transformed into a splendid counterattack converted by Josué Bails. Chan Ze Han might yet have made up for it, but his speculative chip on the following play would be barely clawed aside by Pollard.

The first fifteen minutes of the second half belonged mostly to Kalki Parvathaneni, who was a one-man wrecking ball down the left flank yet again. Somehow never seriously considered as a bona-fide wing option for most of his career, Kalki looked every bit the natural in taking a man on with a run-up, and gave Anderson one of his worst showings in a long time. That said, Kalki probably remained too selfish in his decision-making, and two clear assists would devolve into two misses, exciting as their build-ups were.

Bandits Utd, as it happened, had their answer to Kalki in Josué Bails, and they would at time look like mirror images of each other, as they ravaged their respective wings. Bails, if not quite as pacy as Kalki in terms of raw acceleration, had trickiness enough to spare, and Panigrahi wouldn't enjoy his day either as he was made to look the fool more than once. Jānis Salmiņš was wise to Bails' ways, fortunately, and nothing came of the Argentine's brief inspired period.

By the time Kalki Parvathaneni was replaced by Wu Jinglong in the 80th minute, he had slowed perceptibly, and Wu if anything would carry the torch forward better than Kalki would probably have had; Kalle ter Berg's entry for Bilal Mohammad Harun at the same time didn't hurt either, and the Dutchman happily looked fully recovered from his recent injury woes.

    Taiwan Tangle
    Carelessness Compounded
    Pifferi And Rompe
    Bandits Captured
    Ibrahim Demolishes Wall
    Lions Deviousness
    A Timely Warning
    Tamped Restrained
    Pitiful Decay
    Khoo Bye
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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