Grilled would not suffer equine defeat in succession, as they triumphed over Finnish Division Two visitors Heavy Horses - the first Finns that The Cooking Pot had hosted for over fifty seasons - by four goals to two. The chief architect of this recovery would be 31 year-old Yuta Nakakita
, who seized control of midfield in atonement for his indifferent stint against littlehorse on Sunday.
He definitely had more latitude to be dynamic, both due to being started in midfield and the relatively relaxed stance of the opponents, although they had in the likes of Colombian international Gabriel Nicolás Feres and Joonas Ståhl probably the equal of many littlehorse regulars. Yuta was on a mission, however, and he shut Ståhl down with a ferocity quite raw in its execution.
The Number Thirteen was no less outstanding when on the front foot, as was the case after eighteen minutes, with the Birds having weathered the worst of the Horses' Vlastimil Gaľo-spurred advances down their right. For once, Chirag Thevar
managed to stake out some space for himself, and Yuta would race diagonally across to pick up the pass, almost on the Horses endline. With the angle solidly against him, Yuta went for the shot regardless, and saw it squeeze in at the near post.
Israeli goalkeeper Aharon Livnat had barely taken up position from the restart, when he had to pick the ball out of his net once again. This goal was rather more of a pure fluke, as José Luiz Velho
's tame-seeming header from a hopefully-hit long ball was met by the back of a backpedalling Aleks Ronkainen's head. They all counted, nevertheless, and Ronkainen was clearly not eager to claim it for himself.
Grilled's exuberance was dampened by Jari Horelli's late takedown of Chan Ze Han
, which would precede a short-lived Horses renaissance. Aleksi Jokitalo made it through against a distracted defence, and required Krystian Rykowski
to pull off a breathtaking stop. The corner was floated in by Giovanni Lanzi and intelligently helped on by Ståhl, but Pekka Siikanen's evocative finish would crash out off the woodwork.
The Birds would instead go 3-0 up after thirty minutes, as Thevar proved himself a credible threat whenever Gaľo pushed too deeply. Vikram Mudaliar
did most of the hard work for this one as he tied Horses players up on the right side, but his intended target Chan Ze Han
was thrown off by a canny Siikanen. Thevar had anticipated that, though, and he would stab the now-free pass into the open net.
Heavy Horses collected themselves for the second half, which began to swing their way, with Ståhl become the locus of their play. Even Yuta could not help but fade in the face of the homegrown Finn's resolve, and it took the fire out of Grilled's game. Kalki Parvathaneni
was drawn into defending against his will, as the Horses started camping in Grilled's half.
proved essential in these new circumstances, but Grilled couldn't hold out indefinitely. Rykowski was decisive when he decided to rush and cut out Ståhl's through ball in the 74th minute - an entirely reasonable act given that his defenders were nowhere close - but Giovanni Lanzi was just that much quicker, and neatly rounded the exposed goalie to reduce the deficit.
Looking largely satisfied, Hovaness Noubaryan
made his double substitution with ten minutes to go; Rashid bin Ahmad
and Pompeo Bellamoli
came on, and had barely begun jogging, when Moey Xin Seng
manufactured a penalty at the other end. Bilal Mohammad Harun
claimed it after a short discussion, and proceeded to cheekily fire it straight down the middle.
There was yet time for one more Heavy Horse consolation, and Slovakian skipper Vlastimil Gaľo supplied it. A missed interception by Kalki developed into a full-blown raid headed by Sakari Rasmussen, and Gaľo would be on hand to provide the final touch.