Balmoral Arena was singing as the match was brought to a close, as their team managed to save an unlikely point. Noubaryan admitted that it was two points lost from his perspective, but also that the Birds had gotten all they wanted except for that, out of this fixture.
"Four goals, no cards, no injuries." the head coach pointed out. "I told the squad not to take unnecessary risks today, and they have fulfilled my expectations. Letting in that last goal was a pity, but Rykowski had no chance at all. We await Wednesday."
Sapphire Cup final opponents Puh erh fared no better, as they suffered a second successive league defeat to Cabbages in III.16, with Queralt Fluixà's eighth minute breakthrough deciding the match. That said, Puh erh too made it through with a clean bill of health, and Noubaryan was unwilling to discount them. "It'll be our strongest side, no buts about it."
With the draw, Grilled were outstripped by Kim Tae Hee FC, who ravaged the in-administration BCFC 9-0. The two other games would also finish tied, as leaders Mia San Toa Payoh were held 1-1 by United to stay just three points ahead of the Birds. Robbie Football Club were probably happier with their last-gasp 3-3 draw from Martin Holm's 89th minute strike, seeing as it kept them five points ahead of Joker 9B in sixth place above the drop.
It had been a terrible few days for Farmer Bunnies' national players, what with a narrow cup semifinals knockout by littlehorse followed by a 0-4 home loss to Oman in the World Cup qualifiers, but it got better with another clear sheet victory against Terillions FC. Ibrahim Zahran Al-Maashany
returned to popular acclaim, but it would be Jon Benson
who found the only goal of a dreary contest in the 29th minute, off Nurlan Ablaev
's cheeky assist.
There were no changes in the league standings as Ropelearner FC and JUtd also won against Between a Walk and a Hard Pace and Controlar respectively, and Aswad Mohd Jafni
was open about Ropelearner's eight-point lead looking all but insurmountable. "It's a fight for second place, really. Myself, I'm just targeting taking a point or three off them."
Elsewhere, Roar Olaisen
's honeymoon would be well and truly over, after Grilled International's 0-5 collapse to Schorschl saw them plunge to sixth position in V.231. All the preseason talk of a title shot sounded increasingly like a bad joke, as Rafael Castro and Ariel Ndjodo tore International's defence to shreds.
The Norwegian was at a loss for once to compliment his team, as he abruptly broke off a post-game interview. Black Trapper kept level with Schorschl on points with a 2-0 away win over third-placed Manchesthair United FC, while there were one-sided 6-0 results for fc Snoetie and AC Uettligen, as both teams surpassed International.