Montenegro club Nudo City prevailed against Grilled at their Penetrada stadium in front of some 5000 spectators, but the Birds did display some steel by biting back after going five goals down.
Local midfielder Sekula Lakićević might not be the biggest name in the region, but he had a heck of a day with a two-goal haul within sixteen minutes. Đikanović was his assistant both times, but Lakićević maintained impressive composure to finish precisely.
Next up was forward Savo Crnogorac, who likewise was more or less fresh out out the hosts' youth setup. This time, it was Belgian journeyman Olivier Oury who provided the width, as Grilled's Badrul Afzan bin Mustapa
found his head turned all too easily by any interchange of positions.
A schoolboy error by Badrul let Crnogorac through to lump in a cross-shot that sailed over Bao-Tam, and the striker was encouraged to go directly for goal again the next time he saw the ball. The volley worried Bao-Tam, who leaped across his goal, but it ended up bouncing wide.
Crnogorac would get his brace by spying a gap between Chuan Heng and Seng-Huat, and dribbling right through it as the two defenders realised their mistake too late. Nudo defender Dragiša Eraković then rang up their fifth goal, as his stinging drive hit Bao-Tam's legs before going in.
The few Grilled fans in the stadium probably expected the home team to collect a few more, but were pleasantly surprised as the Birds found it within themselves to mount something of a reprisal. Hu Huihong
, who had not exactly set his wing alight, did cover a lot of ground; He was eventually booked for harassing a Nudo player after the ball had gone.
That never-say-die spirit infected his teammates, and all it took was a bit of creativity from Hu Jianyong
for Grilled to bag one. The left winger let the ball run by and completely flummoxed Ćetković, giving him free rein to pick out Branbilla with a wonder-pass that the Swiss happily converted.
Foong Kok Chuan
rocked the crossbar with a rare long-range effort that gave Nudo goalie Bane Dedejić no time to move a muscle, and bin Yaacob might well have scrambled it in, had Eraković not cleared it off his line. The Grilled forward had gone at full speed into Dedejić, though, and Colombian midfielder Héctor Alberto Gache had to pull on the spare gloves since Nudo hadn't prepared any substitutes.
The Birds unashamedly pressed their man advantage, and would have turned the game around had there been more time. Given what was available, they had to be satisfied with a cute chip by Zulkiflee bin Othman
in the 78th minute, and some exciting moves before the final whistle.