Three Against The Locals
Grilled faced FC Bayern Singapore, a spin-off of Swiss club BSG Traktor Hohndorf into their fourth full season here, quite appropriately at the Singa Arena. They had held SingaStyle on their home ground here just two weeks ago, but had slipped up to BYZANTINE over the weekend, losing 1-2. Likely deciding that they had better focus on the league, young head coach Admir Korene picked a side mostly composed of reserves, with Spanish playmaker Modesto Urtado tasked with trying to pull something off. Urtado was bubbly and all, but FC Bayern Singapore's defensive tactics didn't leave many options, what with Irish lone forward Eoin Dempsey completely isolated.
The first half would be all but Grilled's, although Urtado did strike a respectable half-chance towards the Birds goal in the seventh minute. This came in the aftermath of a vibrant series of runs down the right by Grilled, ending after Peruvian custodian Tatsuki Minamino had saved well from Chan Ze Han
. Tatsuki would again be excellent a few minutes later, as Chun Xin Lee failed to break his stance with slickly-executed fake shot.
FC Bayern Singapore had energy to burn at this stage of the match, but there were early indications that their pressing levels simply weren't sustainable for much longer. Prokop Mottl
only had himself to blame for sending the ball across an open goal after getting past Tatsuki in the 21st minute, but Chan Ze Han
would learn from the experience, when he found himself in a similar position just a bit later.
The opposition looked to Korene for instructions, but there were no updates forthcoming. Chua Yau Tse would try to help Urtado out as much as he could, only to find a patient Grilled team, that had only grown more assured after taking their lead. Bernie Egan
played provider for Bilal Mohammad Harun
32 minutes in, and Bilal carried on from his Roseburn Rangers brace, with a cheeky lob that just about stayed in for 2-0.
Against expectations, FC Bayern Singapore managed to raise their game further after the break, bringing cheer to their travelling support. Grilled could well have been dragged back into the fray, had Eoin Dempsey perhaps shot a bit earlier, after shaking Bilal off in the 63rd minute. The extra steps that he took were enough for Massoud Dob
to get down low instead, and Dob wound up getting stunned in the face - though he did protect his goal successfully.
The Birds couldn't get back going at full throttle even after the scare, and there was every chance that FC Bayern Singapore could find themselves back in it. Another great opening would come for them in the 76th minute, after Yip Da Soon had prevented Chu Xin Lee
from curling one into the corner. Grilled had again left too many holes behind, and Mikhail Efremochkin spotted Dempsey peeling behind. The through pass was immaculate, but Dempsey again wasn't.
Grilled's discomfiture would finally be settled when Islom Davlatov
rifled a third in, as Massoud Dob
thundered a goal-kick as far as he could. For Moey Xin Seng
, it had been a quiet if productive return, and he was all smiles when he was substituted by Vikram Mudaliar
with two minutes to go.