Pied In The Face
Wet And Sad
For all of Grilled's post-season drama, they fell woefully flat on the pitch as they lost 0-4 to newly-rebranded CharlesCheesePie in the opening league game, a result which ended their ten game unbeaten run. A fifth minute penalty gave an unfamiliar Grilled team a mountain to climb, and they never managed to gel in the rain.
The home fans were clearly looking forward to watching their new-look side in action, with Lefébure a surprise starter in central midfield, and last-minute signing Chow Ying Lee
sensationally lining up alongside Bögengang in attack. They would have to wait to see him combining with Mohd Safri, however, with Grilled's reigning Player of the Season benched for lack of form.
CharlesCheesePie began strongly, and local midfielder Zulharisan bin Mamud was booked for looking for a penalty as early as the third minute. That didn't endear him to the Birds' supporters, and they were up in arms as Zulharisan appeared to repeat the trick in the fifth minute - but to their horror, the foul was given this time.
The Grilled players vigourously protested that Zulharisan had taken a tumble, but to no avail, and Argentinean defender Adriano Spadavecchia put the spot kick away even as Valdir went the right way. Sensing an opening, the visitors set themselves about, and while Deng Aik Leng got a yellow card for rough play, they had clearly succeeded in unnerving the Grilled players.
The next goal came as wingback Lun Chee Khin burst free of Roberto Mausisa
, who was clearly uncomfortable on the wet grass; Ronny Behr
tried to provide a second line of defence, but couldn't keep his footing either, leaving Lun to slide in a measured pass from Aik Leng.
Han was by now out standing in the rain as he tried to direct his team, but the lack of chemistry between Grilled's new signings was painfully apparent. While individual flashes of brilliance showed through now and then, they never came together, and CharlesCheesePie's backline managed to cope without too much ado. Safrinho attempted to turn things around with more hustle, but only succeeded in getting carded.
Grilled's answer was to replace Erik Back
with Kyou-Chull Kim
at half-time, and by the looks of it, wait for the players to click. Sadly, it never looked like happening, and even talisman Quah coming coming on for the ineffective Penati later on didn't change much.
In contrast, the opponents' star winger Deng Aik Leng was in top gear all game long, and gave Mausisa fits. Romanian left winger János Daday came into his own later on, and dribbled his way beyond Vukota to send in a searching cross, which Sebastian Schmidt converted as Valdir and Behr watched each other.
This was the final nail in Grilled's coffin, and the disheartened players lost their stomach for the fight. To make things even worse, the combustible Lefébure put in a clearly petulant challenge in on an opponent later on, getting himself sent off, before Lun Chee Khin scored yet another in the second-last minute of regular time.