Sancloyo Slay Intl
"A win, as promised." Grilled head coach Djan Bacelar
boasted, after the game. "The guys hadn't lost it at all, they were just dozing off towards the end of last season."
Grilled were coincidentally handed a chance to directly prove Bacelar's statement, as they were drawn against reigning II.1 champions Claseek, in the next round. The Birds had been razed by the Geylang club in their last meetings, but the Siba Pati-led club have not enjoyed the best of title defences either, having lost their opening two league matches.
"It's very doable, if we keep our heads, and they aren't at their absolute best." Ang Leong Kum
added on. "Win the midfield battle, and with Künzler providing an additional dimensional on the flank, we will always have chances to score."
Farmer Bunnies advanced in the Ruby Challenger Cup too, with a pure counterattacking victory over Bot Team FC, better known as former S-League runners-up Young Tigers. They hardly had the ball against Fabio Trasferti's team, but a spectacular 20th minute free-kick by Vishnu Tallapaka
made them not need it. Fifteen minutes later, Wong Ting Yew
would gobble up a breathless breakaway, to leave the Bots wondering what had happened.
A stretched Kopi-O-kosong-gau are up next, after they beat Kang Xi Lai Le 5-3 after extra time in a bad-tempered clash that saw no less than seven injury stoppages and six cards, including the controversial 41st minute dismissal of Kang Xi striker Damiano Ugoccioni for persistent dissent.
"I think it's realistic to aim for a quarterfinals berth at a minimum." a confident Tallapaka said. "It's a trophy that the Birds have won twice, and if I say so myself, we do have as good a shot at it as anyone else."
Grilled International will have to wait for cup glory, though, after they were sent tumbling out of the Hattrick International Emerald Challenger Cup by Spanish opponents Sancloyo C.F.. Fresh trainee Osertz Indurain
had an outstanding debut in the rain, forcing the opener home in first half time added on. Sancloyo owned after that, however, and they took it, 3-1.