No Match This Time
Grilled Bow Out Of The Cup
The weather could have been said to be kind to Grilled Birds, since a muddy pitch is often construed to be of advantage to the inferior team, since it impedes fluent movement and passing. Grilled indeed looked set to make up for their deficiency in quality with heart, and snapped at Hattrick all the time from the whistle. The difference in standards was just too wide, though, and Hattrick wasted no time in poaching an early goal through up and coming Singapore Under-20 midfielder Hua Zhong-Yi as Wennell found him with a pass which was just out of the reach of a lunging Dewilde, who has failed to impress thus far. Aznan Noor Yadah
sent the sell-out crowd to its feet with an immediate riptose through the center of the Hattrick defence, but was unable to moderate his speed to maintain a decent strike, pushing his attempt high over Hattrick's goalie Su-xin. Hobson was eager to impress, a little too much in fact when he got unnecessarily physical and earned a caution. Central defender Dewilde was again to blame when speedy striker Wira bin Rabin simply ran past him for a simple if clinical finish. Grilled's play then began to turn negative as Seng-kar and Magunsson fell back into central defence, and even that was not sufficient to prevent Rabin's partner, tall Norge forward Markus Ulriksen from exploiting the green back three to give Hattrick an unassailable three-goal cushion.
Grilled had no answers to Hattrick in the second half either, and it was up to Hang Bao-Tam
's individual abilities to keep the score respectable. He somehow scrabbled away Hattrick winger She Vinh-Phu's wicked stinger, and parried countless strikes before finally letting another one by bin Rabin slip past him. It was not to be a totally fruitless night for Grilled though, and Hobson did get at least part of his wish fulfilled when he outjumped Shu Quoc-Sung for a Seng-kar cross. The ball carromed past Su-xin, and Hobson had scored against an S-League side. The home fans went wild as though the match was won, and it took a good minute for them to settle down. The goal did nothing to detract from Hattrick's dominance, and it was only desperate defending that limited them to just one more goal as Wira was denied his hat-trick by the side netting. She Vinh-Phu reinstated the lead from the penalty spot due to bin Che Lah's manhandling of Ulriksen in the box. Hang Bao-Tam
had no chance from the moment the ball left Vinh-Phu's boots. Dewilde, despite being mostly responsible for the first two goals, endeared himself to the fans by bravely playing on after being obviously pained by a rough challenge, in the knowledge that Lan Tuan-Mu
was still not available due to injury. The final half-hour was bereft of goals, and Grilled Birds conceded the cup tie to Hattrick quietly, saving their reserves of strength for the rigours of the league.