Grilled Birds 6 - 5 Joker 9
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 8517 October 2023 15:32 HTT
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Grilled BirdsJoker 9
Chia Kwang Tse (16)
Federico Parada (28)
Hwang Teck Fu (60)
Mohd Marzuki Khairul (86)
Aw Keng Chuan (87)
Joe Reece (87)
Tay Fu Yew (12)
Tay Fu Yew (17)
Tommaso Corvaglia (39)
Tay Fu Yew (55)
Tibe Herkens (77)

Season 79L2 - 7Qualification
Season 74W4 - 1League
Season 74W3 - 7League
Season 73W6 - 1League
Season 73L6 - 2League

A Sting In The Tail
Tay's Luck Runneth Over

Six seasons after Joker 9 had knocked Grilled out of the S-League in a 7-2 thrashing, the Birds would do a reverse in their first tournament matchup in 28 seasons, which had the Birds prevail 4-2 in the Singapore Masters thanks to a Chow Ying Lee double then. 20 year-old Joker 9 Number Ten Tay Fu Yew certainly lived up to his nickname of "Lucky" as he busted Grilled's defence up with a hat-trick, only for Grilled to pull one over the Geylang institution in the dying minutes.
Italian defender Tommaso Corvaglia would be the only holdover starter for the Jokers since the clubs' last meeting, with Chan Ze Han only coming off the bench in the last minute for Grilled. As for the sides' adventures since that fateful day, the Jokers would immediately relegate back down after their single season in the top flight, before dropping again to III.12 for good measure. They would then dominate their Division Three league, winning the title for four straight years, before rising back to II.2 for the new campaign.

Not many of the supporters who turned up for this informal Merlion Cup game were much interested in ancient history, however - what they wanted was action and excitement, and conveniently for them, there would be scant lack of that here. Joker 9, like the Birds, had kept stubbornly to an expansive attacking philosophy, and few were better suited to it than former Pearl Divers youth star Tay. Hans-Ulrich Rehn swung the ball into his favoured right foot from the left in the 12th minute, and Tay barely took a look, before volleying it low and hard past Dimitris Germanakos.

The Jokers were not defending very hard as Chia Kwang Tse replied from Brian Reddy's assist four minutes later, but Grilled would barely have the opportunity to savour the moment, before Tay had dodged his man imperiously to make it 2-1, quite the feat for someone whose signature strength is in the air. Fererico Parada demonstrated his own heading skill when Orest Tokarz fanned out wide to loop it inside in the 28th, but after another such cross was not met cleanly by Joe Reece in the 37th, Corvaglia would have his team ahead at half-time as Damian Hutter got outflanked.

That wasn't really the Austrian's fault for once, but it was difficult to find anyone else to blame, when he got caught stepping up right as Néstor Robledo stabbed it forward for Tay's third in the 55th minute. The only saving grace was that Grilled always looked ready to score themselves, and Hwang Teck Fu ran onto Parada's diagonal pass to reduce their lead five minutes later. Time was running out, however, and after Aw's booking and Tibe Herkens' restoring a two-goal gap with thirteen minutes remaining, it was hard to tell how the Birds could narrow it down.

Tian Yonghang's answer was to put Phua Ming Xin on for Hwang Teck Fu, who had been excellent at holding the ball up, but not much else. Turkish custodian Still, Galip Adıcan frustrated Tokarz's best effort of the day with a diving save right after Phua came on, and it was looking like the Jokers had done enough, when Mohd Marzuki Khairul clipped the ball out from Corvaglia's feet after Reddy had been taken down, and slammed it home for 4-5 with just four minutes remaining.

This had the Grilled supporters on their feet, and they would not have reason to sit back down, as the Birds blitzed from the restart with an inexperienced Tejas Gopalakrishnan losing it, in trying to keep the ball for too long. That had Aw Keng Chuan come in at just the right time to equalize, to a huge reaction from the fans. Dazed at having lost two points, the Jokers would then lose their last as Joe Reece dribbed a static defensive line, which opened the way for a triumphal procession for Chan Ze Han.

    Gombak Rebate
    Zero Clemency
    International Krumped
    A Sting In The Tail
    Eagles Even
    Crusade By Sevens
    Unity Offset Raron
    Baena Bids Adieu
    A Quiet Dinner
    A Cautionary Snift
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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