Bukit Gombak 2 - 6 Grilled Birds
Tournament (Group Phase), Season 8618 October 2023 15:32 HTT
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Bukit GombakGrilled Birds
Sohrab Merdasi (52)
Maurizio Carella (58)
Chia Kwang Tse (3)
Federico Parada (17)
Chia Kwang Tse (35)
Federico Parada (60)
Orest Tokarz (74)
Joe Reece (78)

Season 81L7 - 1Cup

Gombak Rebate
Chia Raring To Go

Bukit Gombak had kept five of the players that had humiliated the Birds 7-1 in the Ruby Challenger Cup five seasons past, but it was Grilled who came up well on top in this repeat, with the intervening time making all the difference for their younglings. Lim An Keng, Mohd Marzuki Khairul and Hwang Teck Fu were all leaps and bounds above where they were as teenagers then, but the most satisfied would have to be Chia Kwang Tse, who suppressed his Gombak equivalents while securing two vital early goals.
Definitely, Gombak's own midfield pride had also improved from then, with their core trio of Quintin Chan, Sim Sze Yi and Chong Sze Keng just about to enter their prime at 26 years old each. Former Thai youth international right winger Jeerawat Thongpailin was getting on in years at 36, however, with Greek captain Kirilos Arsenikos touching forty. Arsenikos would share a joke with countryman Dimitris Germanakos as they strode onto the field, but the rest of the day would not be as jocular for him.

It seemed hard to pick a developing Birds side over Gombak's undoubted firepower, with Italian head coach Gian Franco Silini prioritizing the blending of his midfield with a powerful attack, very much also Tian Yonghang's style. What let them down then was probably the linkage, as Lim An Keng demonstrated in the third minute as he clipped short passes hither and thither, before sliding Chia Kwang Tse through. The grounder seemed too close to Arsenikos, but made it through nonetheless.

Grilled then had some nervous moments as Gombak pressed their case, but some busy coverage from the midfielders carried the Birds through these harder times, and they would have Federico Parada cop a second from the penalty spot in the 17th minute, after Uzbek veteran Yodgor Toshmatov seemed to have brought Brian Reddy down right on the edge of the box. That was a seriously bad matchup for Toshmatov, but the Birds were mostly going through the middle anyway. Chia would make it three in the 35th pouncing on a miscontrolled defensive pass, between notable attempts by Joe Reece and Damian Hutter.

Half-time came and went with Silini not looking at all amused on the touchline, and Gombak came out chastened, and stronger for it. Their forward three were certainly too good to leave without at least a goal for their troubles, and there was no stopping United Arab Emirates right-sided striker Sohrab Merdasi, once he was through in the 52nd minute. It got even better for Gombak as Arsenikos then guessed the right way on Parada's second penalty take, and Maurizio Carella slid home the finish, after Thongpailin had bust his guts with a fifty-yard rush up the right.

All the momentum felt like it was with Gombak now, at least until the referee had their fans in fits, with a third penalty call for Grilled. In his defence, there was nothing else he could have done once Sim Sze Yi caught Phua Ming Xin's trailing leg chasing from the back, however, and Parada was not about to let this one go. The Bolivian skipper took his time placing the ball, and struck it fearlessly to the top right corner for 4-2.

Gombak kept at it, and never seemed completely out of contention, but it was all going the Birds' way now. Their younger midfield was covering a lot more ground, and the raw intensity would translate to Orest Tokarz crashing through for 5-2, in the 74th minute. The Grilled support didn't like Tian taking Chia off for Chad Thach in the aftermath, but with Joe Reece then upping another as Grilled attacked across the width of the pitch, they couldn't have had much to vent about.

It was surely too late for Gombak even had Rambod Eftekhari headed Thongpailin's tempting long cross into the net soon after Reece's strike, but Germanakos was not in a generous mood anyhow, with a lightning-fast lunge to his post. By the time Hwang Teck Fu and Gandhik Chitre came on for Lim and Reece in the 89th minute, the match had slowed to a crawl, and Grilled stroked it around in stoppage time for the win.

    Paying For Laxity
    Boys Will Be Out
    A Surviving Joke
    Gombak Rebate
    In A Right Stew
    Zero Clemency
    International Krumped
    A Sting In The Tail
    Eagles Even
    Crusade By Sevens
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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