Arcturules 3 - 0 Grilled Birds
League, Season 6003 January 2016 04:30 HTT
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ArcturulesGrilled Birds
Hong Yi Soon (30)
Cristiano Fuso (35)
Yuta Nakakita (56)

Season 60D1 - 1League
Season 48W1 - 6Tournament (Playoffs)
Season 48D2 - 2Tournament (Group Phase)

Arctu Do Unto
Yuta Home Triumph

Arcturules became the first club to shut the Birds out in the league for a season, since Pudgy Penguins did the same in the top flight, but what will worry Djan Bacelar more than the defeat was the manner of it. Grilled were utterly toothless at Arcturus Starworks, even considering the hosts' perceptive soak-and-strike strategy, and what could have been a successful encroachment several years back turned into an ineffectual battering of heads against the wall.
Grilled were hardly going to dismiss Arcturules after they had come away with a very credible draw from The Cooking Pot, but there were few signs that they had learnt much if anything from that meeting. Of course, the lack of a back-up plan had been a hallmark of Birds sides in recent times, and with a full squad to pick from, some were still hopeful that Grilled's finest could somehow pick apart one of II.1's stingiest defences.

Unfortunately, Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim in particular was just not the player he had once been, as the soon-to-be 36 year-old was all too often second-best to balls that he would once have bullied defenders into conceding. Quite ironically, his adversary was only too often former Grilled Young Player of the Season Yuta Nakakita, who tellingly beat Mohd Safri decisively at his own game - in the air - on several occasions.

It quickly became depressingly obvious that Grilled were not making any headway against Arcturules' iron defence, and the hosts' superior fitness shortly after began to tell. After the combative Yves-Marie Prat got booked for charging fellow Frenchman Clément Meyer, Arcturules anticipated the free-kick and launched a direct counter down the left, with Cristiano Fuso putting it barely wide.

The expectant home fans didn't have much longer to wait, however. Wong Ping Shun was doing his best to get the Grilled machine going, but this left a lot of room for current national winger Tay Jun Nie to operate. Never at his most comfortable against pace, Wong could do nothing when Tay made his move in the 30th minute, and Hong Yi Soon matched his advance to tip his low cross past Wong Tian Han.

Not only that, Clark Won - whose standing with the Grilled hierarchy was already on tenterhooks after two red cards in a just-concluded tournament - made himself no new friends with his reckless late tackle on Hong, after he had already released his shot. To his relief, Máté Siska was prepared to be lenient given that a goal had already been scored, and commuted his sentence to a yellow card.

Tay proved in a class of his own down his flank, and soon made another goal five minutes later. Ling Fuquan tried to keep in front of Tay, but was cleaned out by his uncanny acceleration, and Fuso would get in ahead of Gene Filippone to deposit Wong Tian Han's spill.

The second half would scarcely be happier for the Birds, who were noticeably wilting the more quickly under the hot afternoon sun. Rinor Isufi, who had not been wanting for endeavour, if with little reward, in the first half, eound up slow to the gates when Hilal Mohammad Tajuddin let slip a rare through pass, and Hisyam Soleh Zain gathered it with a disappointing lack of drama.

Yuta Nakakita then reminded Grilled fans of his presence, as he rose highest to power Luigi Porto's 56th minute corner in off the ground. Having grown from stints in Turkey and Poland before returning to Singapore at nineteen with Westral FC, he has made thirty appearances as a full-fledged member of the Arcturules squad in less than a season since his arrival, and from the cheers his goal garnered, he should be sticking about for a while more.

His former comrades weren't overly enthusiastic about Yuta's development, seeing as how they were now concerned with keeping the scoreline from degenerating into an embarrassment, and it took all of Wong Tian Han's goalkeeping chops to prevent Teo Hui An from profiting off Meyer's badly-considered pass a few minutes on.

Arcturules were about content with their deeds, and continued making maintaining a clean sheet their focus; against that dedication, Grilled saw next to no hope, to the extent that Zhao Jing Wei was reduced to hitting it from way outside the penalty area, with predictable results. In contrast, Cristiano Fuso was a livewire whenever he got the ball, and drove the Birds into more than a few dicey situations.

Yuki Irie's late introduction made no impact on the status quo, but Grilled were all but handed a consolation in injury time, with Máté Siska inexplicably blowing for a handball on Karam Ezz, when it looked obviously like a case of ball-to-hand manufactured by Tian Yonghang. Wong Ping Shun however put it over from the spot, to cap Grilled's miserable outing.

    Line Cut
    Long Time In The Making
    Makarim Makes Return
    Arctu Do Unto
    Winner Takes All
    A Ramli To Start
    Badly Burnt
    Clark Castigated
    Penones Peg One
    Prabhu Prepared
2016-08-01 00:37:41
anonymous: Thanks for the special mention :) I would just like to expre...
2015-08-17 18:50:02
anonymous: excellent read as always!- Yjorn
2015-06-13 03:08:41
anonymous: Rasha say
2014-12-14 16:56:39
gilbertlim: well, it seemed like that.
2014-12-12 18:26:33
anonymous: I didn't play a 4-5-2
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