Supper For Sang
In a first sign that not all might be right with Grilled, Division Three winners De_Sangkakala United shut them out 3-0, as the Birds flattered to deceive throughout what was a near-unwatchable game for the home support.
On paper, Grilled should have been more than a match for De_Sangkakala, particularly in attack, but they didn't count on the grit that they could summon. Eliseo Contreras was in particular worth any two of the Birds' midfielders on the day, as they operated like they had a point to prove. A turgid first half had De_Sangkakala claim most of the chances, and only Edmund Kryus
kept Finnish striker Jeremias Tinkanen from snapping at least one of those up.
Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
then screwed a superb breakthrough up, after Tian Yonghang
had woven his way between several De_Sangkakala defenders to create a hole for Mohd Safri to attack. The pass was inch-perfect onto Mohd Safri's stronger right boot, but the former U-20 star let it run across him for some reason, and ended up putting it unconvincingly wide with his left.
The affair had 0-0 written all over it, at least until Tinkanen went over under slight pressure from Qassem Madaini
three minutes into the second half. Tinkanen didn't even protest, but the referee was already up and running, and pointed to the spot as Madaini threw his hands up in disgust. Dutchman Leen Beemster lined it up, and polished it off breezily.
Grilled were not yet down and out, and they had enough chances to make at least some count. However, there was something not quite right with the strikers, with Chow Ying Lee
's delayed reactions in the 69th minute a glaring change from his usual razor-sharp self. Gifted the ball in a shooting position, he stood on it for long enough for Erik Sedgård to catch up, and after some jostling hammered it ineffectually against the defender's legs.
Luis Alcántara made to shake things up by sending Djan Bacelar
in, which was shortly followed by Tinkanen again going down in the box. This was, at least, a fifty-fifty case as Ling Fuquan
had gone in on him at speed, but suffice to say that the fans were not pleased. Beemster didn't care for the derisive chants, and let Kryus commit himself before putting this penalty away too.
Even the normally-placid Tian Yonghang
couldn't swallow that, and picked up a yellow for a rough shove on Temur Tsurtsumia after losing out on yet another through ball. Turkish forward Gürkan Gürsoy then nicked a third to rub it in, as the Grilled players looked more interested in confronting the match officials after the final whistle.