KRK Not On Top
Bilal In Control
Grilled re-completed their world tour with a stopover in Curaçao, where they entertained Division Four hosts WIDZEW KRK with a languid 5-2 win. Vikram Mudaliar
's failing of a late fitness test left the Birds with only Bilal Mohammad Harun
, Chu Xin Lee
and Gilbert Webb
as their first-teamer starters, which however was more than sufficient for them to crank out a result.
WIDZEW hadn't had the easiest of run-ins, having narrowly lost their last two league matches, the latest a 1-2 to Limmatair in which they had Shanon Laguna sent off and Tito Vergnasco injured. Neither played a role today as German boss Nico Zollondz opted for a stolid 4-5-1, that had the versatile Suently van Rhijn - usually deployed as a centreback - tasked with engaging Grilled's backline.
He did so entirely adequately in the initial period, and good work with Fabio Pallino left acres of space on the left for Xavier Ambrosio. Dante Tran
put himself between Ambrosio and the goal, but while Tran's anticipation was excellent, his actual defending proved far too passive; Ambrosio would work his way around Tran's unconvincing blockade, and bent it around Eren Serpin
in the fifth minute for 1-0.
With Bilal being a monster in midfield, however, WIDZEW's delight was short-lived. There was nobody on the hosts' side who could get near a Bilal in the mood, and it was only with the greatest of efforts that they delayed his first assist to the 15th minute. Not taking anything away from Chu Xin Lee
, though - he had to hit the top corner from the corner of the box, and did so with a sweet loft.
Defender Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
then got into the act with only his third friendly goal, driven in after a cunningly-disguised direct free-kick. Grilled kept pressing, and it was 3-1 by the 29th minute. WIDZEW's Shermar Profar would be booked for trying to delay a throw-in, and after it was finally taken long, Gilbert Webb
forced Quinton Vicento into a magnificent save off his flick-on header. Prokop Mottl
was waiting just in case something like that happened, to Vicento's dismay.
Mottl's industry would again be on show right after the break, but his concentration would fail him at the last, this time. WIDZEW captain Emiliano Jabrane would then be booked for felling Mottle on yet another of the Czech attacker's mazy runs, after which Bilal went it himself, inserting his body between two defenders to score.
Fouls weren't exclusive to WIDZEW, and Jérémy Tarin
would buckle Suently van Rhijn's left leg with a savage tackle in the 57th minute. Ricardo Bonevacia had to be drafted in to replace the stricken Suently, and Jacobo Rozendaal spent a full minute adjusting the dead ball - only to fall flat with a launch into the night air.
This presaged a mini-revival of sorts by the home team, and Ambrosio's fine day continued with a peach of a cross from the left. The curve on it eluded Tarin, but ended up at just the right height for Fabio Pallino. It was a return favour of sorts, as his Italian comrade acknowledged.
Sadly for WIDZEW, their good work was undone when a careless leap by Vurnon Eijima saw ball-to-hand happen on Grilled's next attack, and Tarin shuffled the penalty past Vicento, having read the goalie's intentions. He would then be substituted along with defensive partner Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
later in the match, but there were no implications otherwise.