Flo Ro Duo
The Birds piled on a ninth league victory in exceptional style, as they made short work of the visiting Chemistry at The Cooking Pot. It would be the City giants' ninth visit, their 21st meeting overall, and their most one-sided defeat. Their 1-4 at The Acidic City might have raised the possibility, but it remained startling at how casually Grilled pulled it off.
In Chemistry's favour, they would have 26 year-old striker Erik Dao back, after he had missed the previous fixture due to bruised ribs. Dao would duly claim a brace in his comeback against -Blitz-, has has not managed to find the net since then. Veteran Dethleff Kiev likewise last scored three matches ago, a consolation in a 1-3 loss to Robbie Football Club. As for Grilled, Kalki Parvathaneni
's long-term injury saw Moey Xin Seng
ensconced in left attack, with no lack of midfielders available to take up the slack.
One of those would be Neeraj Muthyala
, who gave every sign of being close to his old best - he threatened a 12th minute opener after Vikram Mudaliar
had helped a corner on to the back post for a free header, but put it slightly over with Gerald Leung wisely manning that post. No matter, Grilled were obviously in the drivers' seat here despite the intermittant rain, and player-coach Vincenzo Ornaghi would be mismatched against a far faster Florus Romijn
. Ornaghi took pains to ensure his backup, but couldn't help being isolated in the 22nd minute after a sharp crossfield pass, and Romijn covered twenty metres of open ground in a flash to score.
Grilled's second goal would come from Moey Xin Seng
, who rather relished his more advanced position. Never a reluctant shooter, Moey inched closer with a couple of fine attempts, beginning with an instinctive toepoke that Tommaso Petretta had to watch out for. The Grilled Number Seven then rippled the side-netting from Romijn's handoff, before he finally got his goal on a high-intensity flood through the middle. Centreback Lee Kuan Yew had actually mitigated the move well, but there were simply too many chances, for some not to get through.
With their forwards not exactly brimming with confidence, Chemistry's impetus would largely be supplied by Estonian right winger Anton Veiderma, who found Romijn an inconsistent defender at best. The difference was that Romijn had a hound-like Bhavya Panigrahi
to cover for his positional shortcomings, which prevented Veiderma from even being able to properly test Massoud Dob
. This was not the case at the other end, and Vikram Mudaliar
would make it 3-0 before half-time, with an agile dribble from the right and in.
The Birds would switch Neeraj Muthyala
out for Bilal Mohammad Harun
after the break, which led to a fourth in a few minutes. Lau Jing Keong didn't have the upper-body strength to keep Bilal from muscling him off a free ball, and Grilled would have several options as Chemistry retreated. Chan Ze Han
unselfishly gave it back to Chu Xin Lee
with his back to goal, and Tommaso Petretta could arguably have done better with Chu's hard, but not particularly well-placed strike.
Grilled were taking it slightly easy now, but with Chemistry not even managing to bring their forwards into play, they could afford it. Bhavya Panigrahi
would be taken off after sixty minutes, after a complicated free-kick routine that didn't quite go off. The combative newcomer looked crestfallen, but regained his composure to embrace entering veteran Yuta Nakakita
Despite the noticeable drop in tempo, there would be a fifth goal in the making, with Romijn scooting through the lines; Petretta just about blocked a trademark Bilal Mohammad Harun
hammerblow from outside the box straight after that, as the Birds dropped through the gears in anticipation of future challenges.