Health Not Okay
The Birds got going with their usual double-digit win in the first round of the Cup, but they sacrificed key midfielder Zhu Changchun
in the process, after he was flattened by an opponent player early on in a moment of overzealousness.
Few expected Kayly United to have a shot against Grilled's first team, but the Ang Mo Kio band of amateurs put up a good show of it before Liang Liyong
opened his Grilled account with a simple and sensible drive after coming away with a loose ball on the right.
Zhu's participation then came to an end when management trainee Teo Tong Kuan went up together with him for a header, but ended up both knocking Zhu down and landing on his outstretched leg on his descent. Strictly speaking, it might not even be a foul, but Teo was fully accepting of the yellow card when it became clear that Zhu was out of the game.
This did mean that Gleb Dorogan
, who was on the bench, would make his Grilled return earlier than expected. The hosts were still not mentally prepared when the match restarted, and Liang paid tribute to his departed colleague by bursting through to record a second goal straight from the restart.
Kayly then had to make a replacement of their own, after Hashim Nadhim complained about his knee, with teacher Haziq Khaled introduced up front. He wouldn't get much to do with all the action at the other end, and Tian Yonghang
rifled a third in minutes later. There was another heartstopping moment when Neil Yu nearly raked his studs across Chow Ying Lee
's face in an attempt to clear high, which got him into referee Herbert Werfel's book too.
Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
and Chow then both made their deposits early, Mohd Safri snagging his hundredth for Grilled with a solo run, and Chow mopping up after Kayly goalkeeper Tobias Xu could only punch a full-blooded strike from Dorogan at the opportunistic forward. Businessman Guan Teck Ho then became the third Kayly player booked, after repeated warnings for a series of minor infractions.
The hosts recovered their composure after a half-time drilling by experienced coach Liao Leng Kang, and managed to frustrate the Birds for no less than twenty-five minutes of the second half. It took another personal brace to weaken their resolve, this time from the mercurial Shiya Shaahee
, who got two in three minutes after some weak covering.
Dorogan then came close to needing a substitute himself when he ran himself into the goalposts trying to get a header in, but would fortunately recover upon application of an ice pack. Liyong then went off for captain Qassem Madaini
to get a taste of the proceedings, and another hat-trick opportunity went a-begging as Xu threw his legs up magnificently to deny Shaahee a third off a free-kick.
Xu would be shaken up after taking a charge from Mohd Safri, however, and Chow sneaked in his second and Grilled's eighth before Mohd Safri mowed through his marker to follow suit off a corner. With four minutes remaining, it was a toss-up as to who would get a third, and it turned out to be Chow with a turn of pace.