Karak of the West 4 - 4 Grilled Birds
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 8425 April 2023 18:00 HTT
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Karak of the West
Grilled Birds
Suchir Goradia (21)
Duminda Paranavithana (44)
Suchir Goradia (50)
Jaesung Jang (90)
Chan Ze Han (22)
Orest Tokarz (42)
Egemen Dinçer Ferzan (58)
Lim An Keng (78)

Season 83L5 - 0Tournament (Group Phase)

Karak And Four
Jang Saves Point

Although Grilled Birds would not win this Golden Trophy test either, their draw with Bihar giants Karak of the West would be a mammoth improvement on their 0-5 defeat last edition, and could have been so much more had their concentration held to the last second. As it was, there is little more that the lucky attendees could have asked for from this match, with eight mostly-great goals, high intensity throughout, three comebacks and a last-minute equalizer.
Karak favourite Jairam Teja, who had scored a hat-trick in the previous meeting, had been moved on the Finnish Mestaruussarja club VihannesMestarit, but they had in Duminda Paranavithana and Eant Yan Tun two worthy replacements in attack. 18 year-old Nepalese target man Binodh Telin might not be anywhere near his potential yet, but his already overdeveloped physique pointed towards very hard times for defenders to come. Trinidad & Tobago national legend Jeremy Williams would skipper the team at right wing, ably supported by former Ivory Coast international Urbi Yago when needed.

Quite a few of the Grilled starters today would have less-than-pleasant memories of the previous clash between the sides, but others such as Joe Reece and Orest Tokarz would have no reason to fear. It would still be Karak to seize the initial going, however, with Paranavithana especially active in targeting Bhavya Panigrahi on their left. He would stop-and-start his way through in the eighth minute and drag it wide for Williams, who however could not find a way past Dimitris Germanakos from that tight angle.

More nifty gambits from Karak later, they would crack the code after 21 minutes, as ex-Suriname national wing star Suchir Goradia continued the pressure on the left, which had him vault Chia Kwang Tse's despairing slide in to tap it past Germanakos. Such slick footwork was hardly the sole province of Goradia, however, and Chan Ze Han would give as good as he got, in making Yago look downright clumsy with a shockingly sharp turn despite barely slowing. Ziaul Pasha had barely got his arm up when the ball hit the back of the net, as Chan put out a finish that had surely won many neutrals to his corner.

That was a turning point, and it would be Karak to find themselves under siege after that, with Pasha pushing Panigrahi's disguised lob into the path of Chan in the 33rd minute, only for the forward to chest it off the outside of the post. That would have been an exceptional improvised goal, but Grilled went ahead anyway eight minutes on, as player-coach Saleh Abolhassan Jaghbeer copped a booking for a bad tackle, which was promptly relayed on to Tokarz for 2-1. This wasn't enough to give Grilled the half-time lead, sadly, as Paranavithana danced his way across Aw and then Panigrahi, to slot home with venom.

The drums would play all the way through the break, and the fans would be rewarded by no loss in tempo at all, when the teams retook the field. The Indians were again the faster to start, and a wave of attacks pivoting through Brunei star Najib bin Hj Adib, would see Karak ahead once more. With several players breaking forward at once, Najib found Goradia making his way bang down the middle, and the winger had far too much quality to miss here.

Egemen Dinçer Ferzan, who had not fared particularly well against Goradia as his direct opponent, would see that as a challenge, from how his workrate suddenly increased appreciably in tandem. Grilled had their moments in midfield too, with one of Mohd Marzuki Khairul's better ideas finally releasing the Turk about the 58th minute, even as Gilbert Webb was warming up in preparation to enter for Panigrahi. Najib chased and nearly caught up to Ferzan as he was about to release his shot, but to no avail as it became 3-3.

Orest Tokarz would also be off for Ibnou Balde as Tian Yonghang saw the opportunity to go for broke up top, and the Birds would indeed seize the initiative once more, as Lim Ah Keng finally cast off his scoring hoodoo to slice inside in the 78th minute. That was Enrique Baena's cue to enter for Ferzan and help defend the lead, but an 80th minute yellow for Aw Keng Chuan saw him hold back somewhat - which proved disastrous as Jaesung Jang managed to get by him in injury time, to level it for one final time.

    EF Get Better
    Old Meets New
    Surviving The Lions
    Karak And Four
    The Colours Rise
    Blackbirds Spring
    Going Nowhere Fast
    City Crash
    Bots Batter Buns
    Zarre Zapped
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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