The Gennady Solution
Optimal Force Distribution
Division Three challengers Complementary Slackness put out a side that was arguably every bit as strong as Grilled's picks, but their arrangement made all the difference. Pinned back by a newly-lifted Birds attack, the hosts would leak five without reply, before fullback Kenta Hattori discovered a very late consolation.
With a divisional title already under their belt, but without the recently-sold wing pairing of Chau Hao Liang and Florus Romijn, Slackness opted to take the Birds on at their own game. In their stead, Alexandr Blaťák and Adrian-Alex Decean mimicked Grilled's setup, in crowding the middle in search of a narrow game.
It didn't take long at all for this equilibrium to be shattered, with Mohammad Ramli Saliman
apparently having gained a taste for goals; his first for Grilled was famously some time in coming, but he sure looked a natural, when he swiped a miscontrolled ball by Eddy Flanquart past goalie Stefan Lindenfels, in just the third minute.
While Chiam Meng Ah was a notch above any other midfielder on the pitch, Grilled's trainees were beginning to build a rapport of their own, and they slowly tightened the net. 18 minutes in, Chu Xin Lee
went for it and saw an ambitious volley skim the bar. Then, slightly after the half-hour mark, Kalki Parvathaneni
would call for Moey Xin Seng
's pass as the latter advanced, and he didn't disappoint, with a slick chip over Lindenfels.
Chiam would then have his team's most promising strike thus far, an eye-catching flying kick to Blaťák's cross, but Valentin Batâr
impressed with an instantaneous drop to save. In the ensuing mad drive upfield, the hosts found themselves spread too thinly, and who else would it be, but Gennady Dvorak
, who would thrive in such a situation? Feinting subtly inside, he helped Clark Won
's effort on with the barest of touches, for Grilled's third goal.
If there was some dispute over who had scored that one, there was no question when Dvorak next put his foot to the pedal, in the 56th minute. Slackness were battling valiantly, but Leonard Kasiewicz was being completely covered by Yuki Irie
on defence, and another breakout saw the Argentine forward blast home from outside the area.
It was all but over when Rinor Isufi
pulled away on the left side to make it 5-0, but if Slackness weren't continuing in the cup, they were determined to at least get a souvenir out of this. They appeared to have gotten it in the 69th, when Kasiewicz raced onto a through ball from Chiam. Batâr wanted his clean sheet badly too, however, and he slowed the Pole just enough, for Hoàng Trung Quá
to catch up from the other side, and clear off the line.
Leong Wan Kang
entered with ten minutes left, with a mind towards adding to his own tally. This he did, but not before Slackness broke their duck - much of it was down to Czech fullback Gabriel Sochr, who burst his way to the corner flag, but this is not to downplay Kenta's cool finish from a difficult angle.
was disgusted at himself for letting that through, but he would at least have the satisfaction of seeing Grilled respond in kind. The move flowed straight from kick-off, and ended with Leong shooting it in just before Ling Dong Ming arrived with a saving tackle. The poor Slackness midfielder would have his leg brutally if unintentionally raked by Leong in the aftermath, and will likely have to sit out the next couple of weeks.