The expressions on the faces on the Grilled players said it all, as they trooped off under the afternoon sun. "We were bad, there's no hiding that." Gilbert Webb
commented. "Yes, Mia San has one of the best forward lines in the land, but this was on us."
took the rare step of publicly berating Neeraj Muthyala
, who has already picked up a second yellow card following his suspension. "Neeraj should know better." the head coach said sternly. "How can the juniors look up to him, if he continues behaving like this? Taking one for the team, I can understand, but that foul was pure stupidity."
With the defeat, Grilled are now pencilled in for only their second official clash with Heaven Skys, twenty-four seasons since the Birds' 3-0 victory in the sixth round of the Cup.
It was smooth sailing for Farmer Bunnies, whose 5-4-1 setup was all but untested after Massimo Zamana's attempt in the fourth minute for Between a Walk and a Hard Pace. The II.3 rivals would be scored on by national stars Lau Chang Wan
and Kwek Yun Jie
before half-time, and an off-colour Vishnu Tallapaka
sneakily fired on an unprepared wall to make it three-nil by the 63rd minute. Bulgarian sub Angel Iliev hit a late consolation to spoil Vivian Grubenmann
's clean sheet.
This makes it fifteen games undefeated for the Buns, who will reprise their classic Arrogancae fixture from two seasons ago. Arrogancae, who disposed of Chemistry by the same scoreline, have also regained S-League status, but Kwek insisted that the Buns need fear no club.
"We're much improved since then, and I'll say it: it's our opponents' problem finding goals against us."
Before this, Grilled International advanced in the H.I. Ruby Challenger Cup by outgunning the Jamaican Lions, 5-3. Abdul Hamid bin Hj Ali Timbang
enjoyed something of a renaissance at left forward, scoring twice, with Fausto Perono
and Hardi bin Besar
joining him right before the break. Irish winger Bucky Dowling kept the Lions in it, but Sazwan bin Hj Muhd Salleh
's 77th minute strike made a comeback unrealistic.
This gave Roar Olaisen
a cup win to match his auspicious league start, even as he insisted that he had barely done anything yet. "It's all the guys doing it themselves, friend. I'm just a spectator as you are."