Royal Sandrats IF 5 - 2 Grilled Birds
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 8113 May 2022 19:05 HTT
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Royal Sandrats IF
Grilled Birds
Gambo Idika (26)
Alessio Folli (31)
Florentas Okinskas (61)
Petr Alikov (65)
Hugo Materňák (82)
José Luiz Velho (18)
Chan Ze Han (50)

Enter Sandrats
Rush Stalled

Grilled Birds certainly got off the right foot in Syria as they played II.2 leaders and former national cup champions Royal Sandrats IF, but the sheer difference in quality - especially on their right flank - would be too much to bear. With current Dutch international superstar winger Co Daatselaar bombing down that side, and home darling and former Syrian U-20 wingback Mosab Balhous backing him up, it could only be termed a true learning experience for Paulino Trindade there.
That it would turn out this way was not quite as obvious at the beginning, though, as this Birds lineup still had something of pride around it. With Chan Ze Han and Moey Xin Seng supporting José Luiz Velho up top, there always felt like a chance that the Brazilian forward could do something. So it was after a couple of near-misses, as Velho bent one around the post on a fifth minute counter, before forcing Cosmin-Alexandru Buzatu into an awkward block ten minutes on. It was the 18th minute when Enrique Baena conjured a great cross from deep as Ukrainian counterpart Petr Alikov showed him the outside, and Velho would get just enough of his head on it, to take it past Buzatu.

The next few minutes went poorly for the Sandrats too, as Grilled tried to make the most of their good spell. Bilal Mohammad Harun saw no hard in trying to curl one to the top right from afar, although he might perhaps really have looked for Chan there. Gambo Idika, uninformed as to whether anyone had snuck behind him, decided to get a touch on, but only straight to Moey Xin Seng, who unfortunately overcooked an eminently scorable effort.

It was something of a curiosity that their opponents had allowed them to get this far, really, what with all the quality that they had. Venezuelan midfielder Alessio Folli was a cut above everyone else in the middle for one, despite Teo Chuan Yong's giving it his best go. Aw Keng Chuan would be out-thought and drawn into an unwise takedown in the 26th minute, which saw the free-kick floated in by Alikov. Hugo Materňák got to it with some difficulty, and did well to spot Gambo Idika for a straightforward equalizer.

Manuel Vadalà could not really be faulted for that, but he should really have done better against Folli's strike from nearly no angle at all, five minutes on. The Sandrats held their 2-1 lead to half-time, which had Prokop Mottl get his chance, coming on for Velho. It was again a superb start for the Birds too, with the Czech forward soon sliding it on for Chan Ze Han, who still had it all to do with Mohammad Saeid Ghajarpour tracking him grimly. A touch with the outside of his boot, then the other way, would send Ghajarpour into his own teammate, however, for a gem of a goal that even some of the home fans appreciated.

If that was Chan at his genius best, it alas was never going to be enough today, with that also happening to be Grilled's only opportunity of note this second half. Despite forming up in a 4-4-2, the Syrians would begin to lord it in the middle with Folli really stamping his class, and Ghajarpour would show himself to be far better on the front foot than back. Florentas Okinskas would suddenly make a break for it from the left, and the Iranian midfielder wouldn't miss a beat, in weighing his assist perfectly.

It would be 4-2 four minutes later in the 65th, as Alikov found himself sadly unestimated by the Grilled players, if probably an understandable trade-off with Okinskas and Materňák ahead of him. The Grilled defenders kept backing off as he advanced, and Bhavya Panigrahi hadn't expected the turn of speed that Alikov kept in reserve. That took him, if slightly off-balance, into the Birds' six-yard box, and he would nick it pass the oncoming Vadalà with one final stretch.

The match would be paused for a while as the Sandrats medic checked for a possible pulled hamstring for Alikov there, but not for long. Chad Thach would replace Aw with ten minutes remaining, as Grilled chased the game with not a lot of actual hope behind it, and it would instead be Materňák to seal the deal at the end of a masterful passing sequence.

    The Germ Spreads
    Living Up To Names
    Buns Back UTP
    Enter Sandrats
    Anam Saves Ghana
    Chee & Gårda
    Cobras Strike
    International Pass
    Home Rules
    Tambusai Clears Swamp
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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