Boys Will Be Out
Sentosa III.3 club Tuas' Old Boys FC, an affiliate of Spain's Vilaseku, were not able to advance having lost their first two games, but they gave it a good go against Grilled Birds anyway, and did well to keep it down to a three-goal margin. This would be due in large part to Grilled captain Federico Parada
getting sent off in the first half, which had the Birds venturing far less in the second.
The red-shirted Old Boys had Scottish journeyman forward Darren Fletcher as their focal point, with Ashen Weerasinghe a more than capable partner. Of course, they were not expected to hold out on the Birds for too long from their previous showings, but some tough tackling by German midfielder Mustafa Blumberg - helped by conservative positioning - had them go nearly half an hour without giving up a real chance. Federico Parada
was not happy at what he perceived to be premature time-wasting by the Old Boys, and would be booked for excessive complaining.
Grilled's tenacity saw them through eventually in the 28th minute, and it was current hotshot Orest Tokarz
who earned the opener the hard way, in prevailing over sweeper Paul Schrofner in a shoulder-barge contest. Brian Reddy
then put some sweet moves together from the right, which had Phua Ming Xin
volley one just wide in the 34th, before adjusting his sights back on target two minutes later.
Parada would then take advantage of the opposition's disorganization with a decisive burst of acceleration past Saint Vincent fullback Geoffrey Dusautoir on the Birds' very next attack, but the rush of blood got to him, and he would go studs up on Auberger right after kick-off. Parada understood what was coming as soon as he made contact, and upon confirmation of the second yellow card, he could only hand off the armband to Brian Reddy
before marching off.
Three-nil remained more than Grilled needed, and Tian Yonghang
just wanted the rest of his team to stay out of trouble, in the remaining forty-five minutes. This allowed the Old Boys some freedom to go on the attack, and Mustafa Blumberg should have at least gotten his shot on target, as they built confidently in the middle after 57 minutes. Dimitris Germanakos
was moreover slightly out of position, but Blumberg dragged it a yard wide.
Their consolation would come ten minutes from time, as Darren Fletcher hung on Aw Keng Chuan
's shoulder, and came away with the ball after several failed attempts. There would be a double substitution of Paulino Trindade
and Ibnou Balde
on for Phua and Hutter in the final minute, which was more than enough time for Trindade to stamp his mark on the game, with a brilliant instinctive finish in injury time.