Last Best West
Indian Division Two leaders Karak of the West were just too much for the Birds in the Golden Trophy, as they swept 5-0 without all that much ado. Former national striker Jairam Teja was their main source of goals as he mercilessly attacked Gilbert Webb
's poor mobility down the right, which yielded him three goals by itself.
Karak had shown what they were capable of in their taking Abbeydale Hammer for six last week, and less-biased punters expected little more from a Grilled side with glaring weaknesses, especially in defence. That was not to say that they were exactly stocked in their other positions too, and it was notable that a raw Gandhik Chitre
got the nod over Teo Chuan Yong
as one of the starting forwards, which however might be borne of a desire to give the younglings some valuable experience.
was a go at left wing too with Ferzan and Baena taken out, not that it would likely have made much of a difference against Karak's all-star wingbacks; captain Saleh Abolhassan Jaghbeer is, of course, a Jordan regular, while Urbi Yago had been capped twice for the Ivory Coast. This was far above what Trindade - and Lim An Keng
on the right flank - were used to facing, and it was not unexpected that neither had any luck plying the wings.
Coming inside was another matter, and it reflected very well on this Grilled team that they managed to hold out for about half an hour without conceding, despite looking quite dishevelled at certain points. Najib bin Hj Adib, formerly of the sadly now-disbanded Brunei legends Vijayapura Vipers, would eventually pot the first of the match, as he wrongfooted a covering Kalki Parvathaneni
in the 31st minute. Lim An Keng
got it on target for the Birds soon after, but there was so little on it that Bangladeshi goalkeeper Ziaul Pasha simply had to stroll over to pick it up.
Karak were simply going through their gears, as it turned out, and Webb would be embarassed in the 37th as he got just a little too casual on the ball. Less-alert forwards would probably have missed it, but Teja was not about to allow the Grilled centreback to get away with showing him so much of the ball. An almighty surge from a standing start would clip it away, and there was no way that Webb was catching him, before he slipped it past Dimitris Germanakos
That was two for Karak at the break, which saw more new blood enter, in the form of Chia Kwang Tse
and Chad Thach
. They did do a lot more running than Kalki and Bilal had in midfield, but this was not necessarily to their betterment, as the Indian side soon demonstrated with two defence-splitting passes across the back. Ju-Hyung Lee might have had a crack, but he unselfishly left it for Myanmar striker Eant Yan Tun, who had an easy finish.
Grilled appeared to need a kick up their backsides to get going, and they would create their best chance of the match in response, with Lim again proving himself much more useful when in a central position. Good upper body strength got him past Lee in a straightforward drive at goal, but Pasha blocked the initial shot, before getting a hand to Lim's follow-up chip. Worse, it would be sent deep into the Birds' half with the defence having pushed up, and Teja exploited the space left behind for 4-0.
Teo would finally get his run-out, as Moey Xin Seng
retired in the 60th minute having contributed little indeed. Karak for their part were apparently in a relaxed mood, and they would spend much of the rest of the game just passing it between themselves when they had the ball. It would take another overextension for Teja to punish Grilled with a hat-trick, but Gandhik Chitre
's exquisite skill against Jaghbeer did win him some appreciation even from the Karak fans.