Grilled Birds 1 - 3 -Blitz-
League, Season 6815 July 2018 04:30 HTT
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Grilled Birds-Blitz-
Neeraj Muthyala (82)
Nie Tze Chao (16)
Giorgio Monari (34)
Rogger Oscate (77)

Season 68W4 - 6League
Season 67L4 - 5League
Season 67L4 - 1League
Season 66L3 - 4League
Season 66L6 - 2League

Battle Lost, War On
Nie Says No

The Birds might have fallen to -Blitz-, but they managed to take the III.15 title nonetheless at the fifth time of trying, for only the third Division Three gong in their long history. The visitors' national winger Nie Tze Chao was evidently unwilling to see Grilled go, from how he radiated influence from the right, but they didn't pack enough to prevent Grilled from having matters in their own hands.
The formula was simple - win and guarantee automatic promotion, draw and guarantee the championship - and only Chu Xin Lee was arguably absent from what was probably the Birds' strongest starting XI. -Blitz- had been formidable save their loss to ~Pollen~ in the past two months, however, and their tying Ropelearner FC up last Sunday was only fair testament to their ability.

With the season opener having been a ten-goal rollercoaster, the home fans weren't overly put off when Nie jiggled his way through to score in the 16th minute, with Danil Labutin running interference. Indeed, Cyril Künzler placed a slide-rule pass to Yuta Nakakita from a free-kick just two minutes after that, though the Number Thirteen ended up slicing it badly wide.

If the chances were flowing thick and fast, they were also beginning to be monopolized by -Blitz-, which was the handiwork of Nie and Ricardo Rey; the 29 year-old Colombian international was untouchable at times, and he nipped not a few Grilled attacks in the bud, before they could develop into something bigger.

Nie took care of their offensive duties, and he made Florus Romijn look extraneous, skipping by him oh-so-gracefully in the 33rd minute. Guido Frankenberger scrambled the low cross past Massoud Dob, Gilbert Webb was there with a stiff block on the goalline, but Giorgio Monari would finally put it to bed for -Blitz- with a second follow-up.

Grilled's earlier optimism was nowhere to be found after going two down, and the rest of the half was spent just scurrying about preventing it from getting worse. It could well have, from how Rey pulled the strings in the middle, but they just about held out to the break.

Ropelearner had meanwhile also gotten a 2-0 lead against newbies, giving them a very real chance of overhauling the Birds, but it was not like Grilled needed extra motivation. Expressing that was another matter altogether, as -Blitz- nearly went three up in the 52nd through Elias Yie's power-packed drive, that was only inches away.

Grilled's belief did grow with each survived scare, and Florus Romijn would gradually emerge from under Nie's shadow, making several incursions deep into -Blitz- territory. This included a cute dink over Ho Chee Chu meant for Bilal Mohammad Harun, but Monari ultimately threw Bilal off sufficiently to make it easy for his goalkeeper.

The Birds carried on with their attacking play, and Kalki Parvathaneni seemed to have caught Antonio Hernalsteen out with his toepoke in mid-stride... only for Monari to again be -Blitz-'s hero. Even more painfully, Grilled had overextended themselves setting that shot up, and Rogger Oscate would make it 3-0 on the blazing-fast response, doubling up with Gagan Kamat on the left.

It was all hanging on tenterhooks now, with a large proportion of the home fans also nervously following the going-ons over at Impossibility Camp, where newbies were getting battered too. If both results stood, however, Grilled would still squeak through, which was probably all they could hope for at the moment. Hovaness Noubaryan wasn't waiting any longer for one, and he came out with a pair of substitutions: Chan Ze Han and Yuki Irie on for Vikram Mudaliar and Yuta Nakakita.

As it happened, a fresh burst of energy was all that Grilled wanted for. Chan was expectedly full of running, and he would catch Rey in a moment of weakness, barely two minutes after coming on. It wasn't particularly clean, but Neeraj Muthyala shoved his way into the -Blitz- box to ensure that the Birds wouldn't be shut out in the league this season.

Things were also looking up on the Ropelearner-newbies front, as it was newbies who were actually getting attempts on target. Brendan Pham had just notched a free-kick agonizingly over, and there were few signs that Ropelearner would be able to find two more - which they didn't.

From the hand signals communicated by Hovaness Noubaryan, he was making sure that his men knew it too, and there was a concerted effort at slowing the game down. There was certainly no mistaking the big smile and thumbs-up that Noubaryan gave when it was all over, either. It hadn't been pretty, but it was enough.

    Flower Power
    Insufficient Support
    Globo Spoil Streak
    Battle Lost, War On
    Two Trophies
    No Second Jess
    Embracing The Top
    Birds Blossom
    Gliding Into The Stretch
    Phoenixes Claim Leong
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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