|Season 51||L||10 - 0||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 51||W||4 - 2||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 49||W||5 - 1||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 49||L||5 - 6||Tournament (Group Phase)|
Despite tyro Moey Xin Seng
getting himself sent off midway through the first half, Grilled never seemed in real danger of losing at Olympic Lyons Park, as they romped to a comfortable two-nil result against Ho Seh Liao. While the clubs had met four times in unofficial tournament games before, this was the first sanctioned meeting between the Birds and the East Coast fighters.
As with Grilled, Ho left much of their best staff behind, but retained enough strength to make a real contest of it. One-club man winger Khairul Hisyam Ridwan aside, their Swiss striker Heribert Gochenaur has always been considered a ready threat to score, whenever he has started for them.
It would sadly not be his - or his side's - day. While they had the personnel to be competitive on paper, Grilled won out on their hustle, especially in the interchanging between attack and midfield. This was not something that Ho were prepared to counter on short notice, and the Birds would hit the jackpot on their first corner, Yuta Nakakita
thumping in a classic centerback's header on Gennady Dvorak
The match kicked into top gear at that, and a couple of enticing chances would fall to Chu Xin Lee
in short order, but the 19 year-old was unable to make the best of them. In between, Moey Xin Seng
was fortunate to walk away with just a yellow card, after he went in on opposition captain Ma Jiade with his studs up.
Moey didn't seem to have learnt his lesson there, though, and four minutes later, he was off. Ho Seh Liao had just been getting the own back, with Ukrainian playmaker Valentyn Zhurahivskiy coming extremely close to earning a penalty after contacting Yuki Irie
in the box. A bit later, Moey would concede a throw-in under duress, and when his appeal was ignored, let vent by kicking the ball away petulantly. Referee Zane Watson couldn't get that one go, and showed him the red card.
If Ho Seh Liao were counting on their man advantage to take them level, however, they would be mistaken. Moey was not missed as badly as one might have thought, which was probably down to the experienced Tian Yonghang
filling in. This did slow Grilled's attack down appreciably, that said, and they got to half-time without being particularly challenged.
The second-half revamp saw Tian rotate inside with Chu and Kalki, and this arrangement soon saw Grilled widen their lead. They were perhaps a little fortunate to see Kalki Parvathaneni
's cute little backheel jut up off his ankle and unmistakably into Eugenio Ciucci's palm, but as they say, you make your own luck. Gennady Dvorak
certainly had no need of it, though, as he swept the penalty confidently into the top left.
Gochenaur was not taking this lying down, but his protestations from up top went unheeded. Now fully in their element, the Birds were slinging the ball around with a swagger, and Ho Seh Liao would have Chilean veteran Diego Armando Urtaza to thank in the 51st minute, as he avoided falling prey to Tian Yonghang
's slick feint, to keep his side hanging on.
Urtaza would be called into action time and again, as Grilled played with an intensity that belied their status of being a man short, and he would have to be on his toes to pry Rinor Isufi
's diving header off his line in the 66th. Sensing that Tian had done enough, Luis Alcántara put Mohammad Ramli Saliman
on with instructions to tie the game up after that, and he indeed did so with his usual grace.