The B Team
Grilled Birds entertained Joker 9B for the first time ever in this second round of the SCC, and ran out 7-0 winners against the Joker 9 spinoffs. While their parent club hold a respectable 2-3 competitive record against the Birds, 9B may yet be a work in progress, judging from today's evidence.
While Joker 9B fared little better against jessica FC last Wednesday, they have actually been doing quite well for themselves in III.14, and are currently holding a five-point lead after a 6-1 thrashing of Winti Tigers. 20 year-old homegrown star striker Abu Bakar Mutalib was not in the mix here, though, as Slovakian head coach Imrich Tršo stuck to his second team. Pacy Haris Manaf took over main forward duties, but found himself outmuscled at each turn.
Grilled weren't in the finest of form, but they didn't need to be, as Kalki Parvathaneni
and Islom Davlatov
all but bossed the game by themselves. The Jokers simply couldn't cope with their incessant movement, and a laudable attempt at doubling up only opened up spaces for the other Birds players. Nobody was anywhere near Chan Ze Han
when he picked up the ball at the head of the penalty area fifteen minutes in, and he wouldn't disappoint with a calm take, rising into the roof of the net.
Despite the goals to come, the proceedings could be considered uneventful for sheer regularity, as Grilled advanced almost in clockwork fashion. A second would arrive from Moey Xin Seng
's good work on the right side, as he expertly held Ethan Jacob off while whipping a flat cross across goal. This was just the right height for Jérémy Tarin
, who won the clash of heads with defender Lim Ping Tong. Lim would be bandaged up after suffering a cut above the eyebrow in the process, but was otherwise unhurt.
would claim his first goal for Grilled several minutes later from a firm hit that Quentin Lamour couldn't deal with, which was the sign for Hovaness Noubaryan
to withdraw Neeraj Muthyala
. Leong Wan Kang
came on just in time to flick Webb's free-kick on, but Chan Ze Han
arrived a fraction too late to make something out of that.
No changes were made by Joker 9B at half-time, with Tršo having seemingly conceded the result, as his young team did the best they could. Hwang Keong Tong was instrumental in keeping Grilled from running up the score, thanks to his bulldog-like chasing down of those in possession.
He couldn't keep this up for the whole forty-five minutes, though, and Grilled were back in business with a header driven at the goalline by Bilal Mohammad Harun
in the 65th minute, coming off a Webb corner. An altercation over the legality of a rushed throw-in following Yuki Irie
's entrance then saw Haris Manaf booked, and the Birds compounded the pain as Islom Davlatov
scored from the free-kick assist. Vikram Mudaliar
might have gotten one too right after that, but for Minhat Mohd Hisyamuddin's heroic recovery.
The Birds would up their tempo as Joker 9B faded late, and Kalki Parvathaneni
would get the goal he richly deserved five minutes from time, rounding Lamour after tight interplay with Leong. Bilal would then complete the scoring, again via his unchallenged prowess in the air.