acknowledged that he'd have taken being atop the table with two matches to go at the beginning of the season, any which way. Mia San Toa Payoh refused to be shaken off, however, as Oleg Usik's tireless sprinting saw them pick up the full three points from RFC, five minutes from time.
Third and fourth-placed -= Manchester United =- and Kim Tae Hee FC should be out of the running with a goalless draw that helped neither, but with Mia San slated to face the bottom two in Joker 9B and BCFC, Noubaryan recognized that it would take a mammoth effort by the Birds to last the distance.
"I'd say it remains in our own hands, but it goes without saying that I envy Mia San's position. Kim Tae Hee FC are a flexible team, and it's all we can do to try and keep the race going."
Incredibly, Kalki Parvathaneni
would have to settle for a share of the Golden Boot lead, after Real Balmoral's Manne Dehlfeldt managed an unbelievable seven
goals against BCFC, to also wind up on fourteen. Chan remains second on ten, while Vikram Mudaliar
moves up to joint-third, with his treble today.
Farmer Bunnies got their home win against Controlar, not having managed to score in the clubs' last meeting. It was Tham's time on this occasion, as he broke through in the 13th minute, before assisting national teammate Lau Chang Wan
from a corner in the 73rd. Tham then found Jon Benson
with an inch-perfect diagonal pass, but the Northern Irishman was just a step behind.
Tham would graciously commend Vivian Grubenmann
and Brendan Leung
in his post-game comments. "Vivian made several important saves, and Leung had Gael Shiloah under wraps again. It wasn't an easy match by any means, but we approached it sensibly."
With the Buns now safe from relegation following Terillions FC's 0-4 loss to Ambush F.C., and with the national team's World Cup Qualification campaign all but over after Friday's 3-4 defeat to Perú - which however had Kwek Yun Jie
giving the Lions a 2-0 lead - Tham's eyes are firmly on the next season.
"We've made many mistakes the past year, but our squad will be our strongest yet." he insisted. "The coaches have promised us exceptional new talent, and if we don't win something with all that, there can't be more excuses."
Grilled International's 7-0 away triumph at Poland's Hel made it a clean sweep of clean sheets, as Bosnian forward Ragib Banović
popped his hat-trick cherry. Fausto Perono
, Sazwan bin Hj Muhd Salleh
, Wang Chu Chi
and Wang Hanxuan
were also on the mark, as Hel head coach Ernesto Bolding found his options limited.
was vaguely optimistic that his team had turned the corner. "I expect the points against Gute Freunde, but Black Trapper on final day will be a big test."