Grilled Birds 2 - 2 Stormarn Blackbirds
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 8301 January 2023 18:00 HTT
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Grilled Birds
Stormarn Blackbirds
Chan Ze Han (2)
Aw Keng Chuan (17)
Torben Hanf (18)
Karl von der Osten (81)

Birds Of A Feather
Golden Return

Grilled Birds returned to the Golden Trophy after finishing 29th in the previous, thirteenth edition, and they would start off with a credible draw against German Division Five side Stormarn Blackbirds. This had to be considered something of a missed opportunity for Grilled, who burst off to an incredible start, before laxity allowed Stormarn back eventually. Bertil Lerche, who provided extra coverage against Chan Ze Han on their left, would pay the price for it with a sending-off by the end.
The Blackbirds had just arrived from their Youdan Cup Hattrick tourney commitments, but their 4-0 victory over Northern Irish IV.15 club Skeletor Rovers there, couldn't have done their morale any harm. While they absolutely smothered their opponents then, though, Grilled were an entirely different proposition - and they would not have much time to probe before Chan sent the Birds ahead. There seemed no problem with Oswald Reitein and İsmet Öztan still between the Birds legend and goal when he got the ball in the second minute, only for him to push it this way and that, and got it past Joerg Gsödl before many in the stadium had noticed.

That control under poor pitch conditions was something else altogether, which had Blackbirds boss Martin Feiersinger order Lerche to double-team Chan in short order. It was not like they could comfortable spare an extra man, however, as Grilled exploited the yielded space through the intelligent movement of Lim An Keng. The 19 year-old proved to have a great right boot on him too, and his delightful cross in the 17th minute just demanded a fitting finish - and Aw Keng Chuan supplied it.

The Blackbirds would pick themselves up for that second blunder to keep things competitive, and it was the non-black Birds' turn to mess it up on the return kick-off. Lim would be far too casual in marking Lerche as the Blackbirds man challenged him near the touchline, and he would end up torched on the inside, as Lerche shifted his weight brilliantly to pass by. Torben Hanf stepped up as the Grilled backline was caught ball-watching, and the duo would enter into a mildly-provocative celebration in front of their die-hards.

2-1 it was, and Lerche was not done yet, additional duties notwithstanding. The yellow shirts of the Germans would began making appearances more and more frequently in Grilled's half, and Lerche would not have any hang-ups about popping up where he wasn't supposed to, either. Chan would be ignored for a span as the Blackbirds Number Two switched over to the right flank in the 33rd minute, and it was only a strong challenge from Gilbert Webb that prevented him from breaking inside this time.

Grilled retook the initiative until half-time, which had Kalki and Bilal make way for younger blood in Chia Kwang Tse and Chad Thach, to no apparent loss of effectiveness in midfield. It was more of the Blackbirds' discipline that kept them unbreached here, with Moey Xin Seng going off for Teo Chuan Yong, as Grilled chased a third. Their efforts would lead to Lerche being booked for a preventive takedown of Thach to prevent a dangerous break in the 73rd minute, but not even his most ardent critics could begrudge him that.

It was not like Blackbirds looked likely to score either, with 20 year-old star forward Karsten Schrammek raising temperatures with several of his patented sprints, but never quite getting into actual shooting positions with the ball. A free-kick in the 81st minute allowed them the intricate set-up that they wanted, however, and a few well-timed passes and dummies would see Karl von der Osten by himself, just five yards out. Dimitris Germanakos went down as quickly as he could, but not fast enough to block the strike. 2-2.

The Blackbirds were not about to let this precious point slip through their fingers by chasing a third, which brought no end of frustration to Grilled, as they flung themselves at the equivalent of a brick wall for the final ten minutes or so. They did have the consolation of Lerche getting sent off for a second yellow card right before full-time, as his fouls on Chan finally told, but frankly he had already extracted great value from those.

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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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