About all went as expected as Grilled began their first defense of the Singapore Cup, as their young midfield brood worked well with regular forwards Ola and Cao. Geylang Traders, a part-time brotherhood of self-employed businessmen, nevertheless drove a hard bargain as they memorably nicked a goal from Grilled.
There was eagerness to claim the first goal of the season against a squad of amateurs mostly in their mid-to-late thirties, but who proved surprisingly nimble at the back. Two closely-spaced lines of four guarded baker Rashid Mail in goal, and that man passed his first test when he smothered a good breaking ball at Han Kok's feet to heavy applause.
The Traders' overly energetic defence could not last indefinitely, and in the seventeenth minute recent Cup hero Ola Martinsson
cut sharply by burly 34 year-old cafe operator Quan Minh-Quan to launch Grilled into the lead. Han Kok had to settle for being the runner-up when he swung a lob over Rashid soon after.
Martinsson went on to complete a first-half hat-trick against the hapless defenders. A glaring error meant that he had no option but to score as both central backs held off from blocking him, and after that Wai-Kin again demonstrated his unselfishness as he passed up a probable goal to create a certain one for the super Swede.
Not that Martinsson was infallable, for he miscued a simple header from five metres after the restart. Wai-Kin added a neat chipped goal, before Borup got booked for picking a dumb quarrel with a Traders player he thought had held him back.
The home team had their moment in the sun, as consultant Xun Ai-mei drew on his endurance from his persistent long-distance runs to get past Spirig. He lofted in a cross without too much hope, but captain Tuan Rosli bin Mohd put in a supreme effort to outmuscle Liehner and push the ball past Bao-Tam whilst falling.
It was a contestable goal, but who had the heart to stop the celebrations? Even the referee was seen to be smiling at the sight of Tuan Rosli being flung into the air by his exuberant teammates. Grilled were certainly not about to lodge a protest, still being very comfortably ahead.
Wai-Kin scored straight from the kick-off as the Traders players appeared drained from their outpouring of joy, and he had a pretty easy time of it escaping several half-hearted tackles before again exploiting Rashid's lack of height.
Martinsson then gave the audience a free-kick to savour, as he had first pick with Sid rested. He relied on the wicked breaking strike that had been shown on so many highlight reels, before closing the day off with a fifth personal goal in the 85th minute.