Noubaryan Laid Out
The Birds ran riot over City amateurs SAZER FC in the second round of the Cup, with the V.189 fixtures shipping ten goals against the still-riled Birds. This did come at the expense of luckless goalkeeper Hovaness Noubaryan
, who may be out for as long as a month and a half after a horrific accident early on.
SAZER had begun with consecutive wins, edging Fantasy Leeds 3-2 in their final match before being rebranded as nam taé fc in the first round, before sending a signal to their league rivals with a strong 5-2 victory against Northen Star. High hopes were placed on 41 year-old chemistry teacher Nor Zeland bin Salleh, who scored in both games, but he proved unable to resist when Tian Yonghang
replicated last season's streak with a well-placed strike in the fourth minute.
Leong Wan Kang
then scored his first since his two against Loofers in the same round three months back, catching up with Chow Ying Lee
's ambitious through pass. The home team then staged their first serious assault, and it looked to have gone flat after Lu Jiaguan sent a very high ball into the box. It was clearly Noubaryan's, but Lan Chuanyuan hadn't given up on it, and stood his ground waiting. Colby Awyong
attempted to get between them to shield his goalkeeper, but ironically caused Noubaryan to fall over him after catching, and land with one foot twisted at an ugly angle.
The game was immediately stopped, and the paramedics had to apply oxygen as both sets of players stood around uneasily. By the time referee Liu Wooi Ling restarted the clock, a lot had gone out of the contest, and it was a long ten minutes before Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
picked up the pace and headed in a third, coming between SAZER's central defenders.
Leong was then booked for insubordination, before new captain Tian got bundled over in the box. Djan Bacelar
converted the penalty easily enough, with Pang Hanwei not even moving. Chow Ying Lee
and Hilal Bakhtiar
then both profited from Pang's lack of mobility, with Bakhtiar having no right to score, but the goalie dropping the ball anyway.
The SAZER players were up in arms after Bacelar aimed a mean-spirited kick at Wang Shiyao's legs, and the Brazilian was fortunate not to be sent off there and then. The bite had certainly returned at this point, and SAZER gave a good account of themselves, hassling and keeping Grilled to one long shot by Mohd Safri up to the hour mark.
The hosts had some of their own back as Gao Junxiong made a dangerous challenge of his own against an unamused Rashid bin Ahmad
, who shot Gao a dirty look while holding his ankle. Mohd Safri's slotted goal immediately after helped to defuse the tension, and soon after substitute Liang Liyong
got the eighth, Chow also completed his brace through a direct dash.
Leong would not have the chance to get his, as Luis Alcántara took him off for eager Italian winger Pompeo Bellamoli
in the 70th minute, and Bellamoli rewarded his coach by putting it in with his first touch, Tian Yonghang
the supplier from deep. Hafiz bin Mohd Saad was then booked for delaying the game, but he could afford to smile, knowing that the yellow to his name would soon become immaterial.