|Season 52||W||4 - 3||Tournament (Playoffs)|
|Season 52||L||4 - 6||Tournament (Playoffs)|
Taken The Measure
Woon Whizzes Through
-= Manchester United =-'s attempt to regain their national ladder position ended in disappointment as Grilled beat them 7-2 in the third meeting between the two clubs in days. The tie was actually far more competitive than the result would suggest, with United well in with a shout until as late as the 76th minute. Tian Yonghang
's poach then completely shattered their will, though, and Woon Shun An
took the opportunity to snap up a treble.
With it being one apiece for the sides, the fans expected another high-scoring and closely-matched contest, and they knew that they were right on at least the scoring part when United's Gastón Ovelar flagged off after just three minutes. The Paraguay wingback had been hardworking if unimaginative in the earlier meetings, but he proved unwilling to continue staying out of the spotlight when dangerman Constantin Buda came in from the right. Ling Fuquan
threw himself at Buda for the block, but the Romanian had anticipated that, and slid it on for Ovelar to power in.
Their shock and awe tactics having come good, United went for the jugular, with Vittorio Bellorini going to ground inside the box on their next attack. The referee however judged that he had run into Qassem Madaini
deliberately with the intention of getting a penalty, and raised the yellow card impassively as Madaini dragged Bellorini to his feet.
The Birds were having some trouble finding the net, though, and it was only after many poor attacks that Chow Ying Lee
took responsibility. With United having shown themselves good at cutting out passes, Chow instead elected to run through them all. There were four United players between him and the goal, but the former U-20 showstopper exhibited enough control to make it past them all.
With it now even, Grilled continued going up through the gears, and Woon gave them the lead with a hard right-footed smash in the 37th minute. Mohd Safri then had an excellent diving header clawed to the side by Lazzaretto five minutes later, but he displayed amazing agility to spring up instantly and finish the job with a stylish leap and twist.
United were hardly done yet, with the memory of them having come from behind three times to get their win still fresh in their players' minds. They were much more composed after their half-time talk, and after holding Grilled at bay, they again concentrated on their strengths out wide. No-one wanted to track Timmo Thode when he hugged the left touchline, and he punished the Birds with a fantastic cross that Alex Marque could only head in.
It was anybody's game, and although Grilled still had more of the ball, United's breaks down the flanks stopped hearts whenever they occurred. Edmund Kryus
lived dangerously several times with risky interceptions, and United might well have come good, had Tian Yonghang
not broken their spirit by picking Ovelar's pocket in the 76th minute.
Deflated at having given away such a soft goal, United remained unready when the match was restarted, and fell prey to yet another by Woon. Now 2-5 down, cracks were apparent with Ovelar and Bellorini beginning to point fingers at each other. Skipper Dumitru Coca had to step in between them, but it was apparent that their chance had gone.
Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
then mopped up with a sweet chip that Bellorini approached half-heartedly, and Woon then could not resist claiming the match ball, with the just-booked Madaini arranging for a short free-kick to give Woon his shot.