In The Pink
Chow Lets It Out
The Birds got a much-needed pick-me-up against visiting Uruguayan Division Three side Pink Floyd, snapping a series of three defeats with a 3-1 win, all of Grilled's goals coming in the first half. Floydianos answered in the second half, but will be disappointed not to at least claim a draw, with Swedish midfielder Björn Olofsson clearly the best on the pitch for the day.
This would be Grilled's first matchup with a team from Uruguay in 25 seasons, since Tim Hobson
scored their only in a 1-4 away defeat against neno fooball clus. There seemed every chance that Floyd would repeat that, as they brought not only Olofsson, but his Swiss sidekick Nick Tschan as well as the attacking leftback Renzo Iobbi to the Pot.
With the backline being Grilled's weakness for ages, Luis Alcántara gave Rashid bin Ahmad
and Walter Ross
runouts for Stanca's assessment, while Liang Liyong
was put on the flanks. Floyd had more of the ball, but it was the Birds who did more with it, Djan Bacelar
tucking away neatly after a flamboyant charge.
This was followed by Pompeo Bellamoli
going over far too easily in response to light pressure from Iobbi, which had the latter shaking his head. The referee didn't see the funny side and booked Bellamoli, who protested his innocence while seated.
Bellamoli would make himself more useful when he let a Bacelar indirect free-kick fall through to Chow Ying Lee
, who had no problems putting it past Leonardo Valença in the 28th minute. There was some doubt on whether the trainee forward actually meant that, but he certainly didn't hold back in the celebrations afterwards.
Floyd were by now doing just about everything but scoring, with the Birds experiencing the exact opposite. Leong Wan Kang
had acting captain Tian Yonghang
to thank for the return pass when he nipped in on the left, and stuck it into the net before Juan Cruz Strauch had a chance to recover.
Alcántara was happy with what he saw, and the only switch for the second half came in the form of Gleb Dorogan
on for Chow. From all appearances, however, the Moldovan has yet to get fully back in it, and his limited mobility was shown up when he let Iobbi go past him with nary any resistance in the 64th minute, leaving the wingback free to wheel in past Rashid and reply classily.
That proved to be an aberration, though, as Floyd returned to having their attacks inexplicably breaking down. Target man Kenny Lerby being constantly shepherded by Walter Ross
could have had a lot to do with that, as Lerby hardly ever managed to turn and face the Grilled goal with the ball at his feet, which suited Dan Seng
In the end, it was Valença who had to endure a close shave after Ross put one just over his bar, and the friendly concluded with Alex Fonseca
and Colby Awyong
coming on in a double substitution for Shiya Shaahee
and Leong Wan Kang
in the final minutes.