Ramy On The Prowl
~Pollen~ might have managed just the one point against Grilled in the league, but it was a completely different proposition in this season-ending friendly and SCC match, where they trounced the Birds 6-0. Grilled's cross-training of their forwards was too much against a near full-strength ~Pollen~ side, which saw former Saudi youth international Ramy Mansoor Al-Rashdy at the centre of their every move.
~Pollen~ were still smarting from their 1-5 home defeat, from how determined they were to shut Grilled out - which wasn't exactly too hard. Vikram Mudaliar
, so devastating against them in actual competition, was but a hollow shell as he struggled to impose himself in a crowded park; a lapse saw Lilian Iolea bear down on Yuki Irie
, who could barely slow the Romanian on his successful run on Massoud Dob
The Birds might have turned it around had Bilal Mohammad Harun
been on target with his headers, but Wicher Burghgraaff was on the lookout. It was then a flurry of near misses from ~Pollen~, as Al-Rashdy absolutely owned Hoàng Trung Quá
in the air nineteen minutes in, only to glance it across the goalmouth. José Victor Velázquez then had Dob at his mercy after an electric ~Pollen~ combination, but he found the woodwork with his lifted attempt.
Unlike previous meetings, ~Pollen~ were clearly edging possession in this one, and they made the most of it through Gerardo Albertario in the 31st. He made to go around the outside of Gilbert Webb
, before tucking sharply in, and to Webb's horror, Kalki Parvathaneni
was not where he was supposed to be. That meant a straightfoward pass right in for Wicher Burghgraaff, who swept it past Dob to extend their lead.
If Grilled weren't completely out of it yet, they sure weren't helping themselves, as their midfield continually struggled to break the ~Pollen~ press. Chan Ze Han
's vaunted close control got him nowhere fast, as Ramy for one seemed always there, to remove his passing angles.
Ramy was productive in the scoring department too, converting a corner 56 minutes in, and neither Islom Davlatov
nor Remco van der Ban
could make much of a difference after coming on. The latter clearly disappointed with his decision-making on a Velázquez cross, as he came nowhere close to cutting it out, and left Melchior Wuthrich with all the time he needed to piece together a finish. 4-0.
It was definitely curtains for Grilled, with everyone but perhaps Moey Xin Seng
having accepted that fact. The Grilled captain's throwing of a leg into a defender before taking a tumble wasn't even convincing, and referee Thierry Gillet could only shake his head as he reached for a card. Velázquez showed the right way to go about it at the other end, as he refused to go down against Remco, before adding a fifth.
As it happened, there was still time for a Ramy Mansoor Al-Rashdy showstopped, as the super Saud went upside-down to hook it past an unamused Massoud Dob
, whose defence was again AWOL. If there was any consolation, it was that there was nothing official riding on this disaster.