Leong Doubles Up
The Birds advanced to the third round of the Cup off an 8-1 win over fifth division side Loofers, but the part-timers could take satisfaction from scoring against Grilled before exiting. The Birds went back to giving their forwards exposure in midfield, though this didn't stop all three of them from getting their names in lights.
Loofers, who had won their league in three of the last four seasons, had Lee Han Yeow to thank fo a late 1-0 victory over the higher-ranked Sotong last Wednesday. They would find Grilled a completely different proposition, however, and Leong Wan Kang
snatched up chances in the 14th and 21st minutes to get his team solidly ahead.
made his debut in the hole for Grilled, but the 32 year-old Brazilian looked slightly off the pace, not having played competitively for three weeks. This combined with a desire to impress led him to clatter schoolteacher Lee Min Min, for which he was carded.
Loofers' moment came in the 27th minute, as raw physicality proved its worth yet again from a corner. Mohd Nazri bin Ramli's delivery was not the greatest, but Lee Han Yeow stood his ground against Colby Awyong
and glanced it off the top of his head. Hovaness Noubaryan
was taken off guard and did well to palm it aside, but Fang Qinghao had followed up, and bundled in a famous reply.
This gave extra heart to the home fans, and Loofers flirted with managing an equaliser as Grilled's backline endured some nervy moments, before Liang Liyong
put the shakiness to rest with a third. Tian Yonghang
waited intelligently for a suitable run before releasing his pass, and Liang obliged from the right wing to extend his Cup scoring streak.
The difference between professionals and dabblers became even more pronounced in the second half as the brave Loofers tired, and Pompeo Bellamoli
killed off any realistic hope of them staying in it with a deft volley after Chow missed connecting with an inbound cross. Lee Han Yeow, who had enjoyed a big buzz after assisting with his side's earlier goal, then prevented a near-certain fifth with a cynical jersey tug, and narrowly escaped being sent off.
It would make little difference as Grilled's terrible trio decided to come out and play, and their improved facility at coming from deep would have befuddled far better defences. Chow was the first of the three to join in the goalfest, as he cut in on a pass across the defence to add to his four on Monday.
Awyong nodded in after sneaking behind a visibly-spent Sun Jingyi, before Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
and Tian Yonghang
scored within a minute of each other, thanks to defensive mixups. Loofers wisely settled for lumping it up whenever they could to see out the final ten minutes, which had the popular Sandy Fu
making his official debut alongside Alex Fonseca