A Flash Of Grace
It was a significant day for two of Grilled's forwards, but for vastly differing reasons, as the Birds captured an important away win at Holy Satans' The Hell.
Few gave Grilled much of a chance against the Satans, who lie comfortably in third place in the II.4, but the players had reason to feel otherwise seeing as they had dealt them their biggest league defeat earlier in the season.
It was a changed side which would face the Satans, though, as hat-trick hero Subri had left, and Rotteveel had missed that match through injury. The new-look trio of Rotteveel, Bögengang and Mohd Safri would line up against an unchanged Satans XI, surprisingly to much the same effect.
Grilled kicked off playing very deep, and their gamble took but seven minutes to pay off as a goal kick reached Rotteveel on the shoulder of the last man. 21 year-old Swiss defender Dieter Perret might have thirteen years on the Dutchman, but it wasn't quite enough to compensate for raw pace as Rotteveel sped away from him before finding the net.
Eddy Grafhorst might be consoled that it was not just any goal that went past him; It was Rotteveel's 200th competitive strike for Grilled, putting him in an exclusive club which has the legendary Ola Martinsson as its only other member. Moreover, it was Rotteveel's 104th league goal, putting him on level terms with Martinsson in that respect.
Eleven appears to be Mohd Safri's lucky number at the moment, as the young star followed up his 11th minute goal against Chemistry last Sunday with yet another one today. The Satans defenders were more concerned with cutting out his passing lanes than stopping the teenager from shooting, and would rue that decision as Safri took one look and buried a thunderbolt past an unmoving Grafhorst.
This was certainly not what the home fans had expected, but to their credit their support didn't waver. Branbilla's slip-up in his own third of the field gave Zeng Wan Ho an opening, but the formerly Japan-based forward lobbed just over the crossbar.
The Satans' attacking drive left them short at the back occasionally, and Rotteveel might have rubbed their faces in it had he managed to get his shot on target in the 32nd minute, after a rampage down the left side by Talib.
The home side must have thought that they had pulled one back after Behr got into the way of Nojman in the penalty area in the 39th minute, to which the referee blew for a spot kick. He must have thought it a marginal decision as he didn't even lecture Behr, and justice was served as Doug Wright sent it into the upper tier of the terraces.
Coach Han Lik-Tsun
, despite being on crutches after last week's incident, made it a point to personally organize the team for the second half, and the Birds dutifully parked the bus. Parkhomchuk, Wright and Zeng all had decent chances, only to be denied by a combination of poor composure and Valdir, who was pleased to obtain only his second clean sheet in the league this campaign.