Moey Of The Same
It was a clash thirty-nine seasons into the making, as Grilled Birds met top Sentosa representatives Olympic Sentosa - briefly known as Olympic Lyons - for the first time. Somehow, their paths hadn't crossed despite Olympic Sentosa having spent a fair number of seasons in Division Two, though the S-League has eluded them thus far. They had, however, faced Farmer Bunnies in the third round of the Sapphire Challenger Cup a couple of seasons back, where they lost 4-5 on penalties.
Olympic would be almost unchanged from then, with the only difference being Rolf Schötz's spearheading of their offence, instead of the dropped Ingolf Dreisbach. Their practised wide 2-5-3 tactics were arguably even more risky than Grilled's own version, but it had taken them to four straight victories leading into this game, with the team long since equipped to handle its greatest weaknesses.
In such a head-on collision, the deciding factor has often been which team could lay claim to possession first, and that very pattern played out fully here. Olympic had moreover never exactly been a cup team, with their best run in their history being to this very fourth round. That clearly didn't look like changing, when Moey Xin Seng
sidefooted the opener past an exposed Ramiro Ipenarrieta after twelve minutes, after excellent approach work from the strikers had sliced them apart.
This was also Moey's first goal since the 7-3 win over Be Champions FC almost exactly a season ago, which has also perhaps been the worst stretch by far of the 27 year-old's Grilled career. The longtime captain's unmitigated relief was evident as he kissed the badge and raised two fingers to the sky, to widespread acclaim from the Birds support.
had his head in his hands after failing to convert off Cyril Künzler
's hard work in the next minute, but that miss was soon forgotten as the Birds trundled on. Ipenarrieta was again there with the reaction save against Gilbert Webb
's free header in the 24th, but it would soon be 2-0 as Florus Romijn
swept in from the flank for Chu Xin Lee
It was three before the break as Chan Ze Han
struck for the third match in succession, picking just the right instant to release his lob, as Ipenarrieta tried to position himself. Chan could seemingly do no wrong when in the mood, and he might very well have added another a couple of minutes later. Krzysztof Kita stood, all but hypnotized, as Chan reversed himself mid-rotation to craft an angle, but the goalkeeper had guarded the near post adequately.
's habilitation continued as he took over from Chu Xin Lee
for the second half, and he appeared as if he had never been away, pinging passes between himself, Bilal and Egan in neat triangles of all sorts. It was winding up to be a very discouraging day for Olympic Sentosa indeed, as they struggled to cope; defender Gilbert Webb
had the wherewithal to range far and wide, and the self-belief to lash it at goal from some twenty-odd yards. He probably didn't mean to lob Ipenarrieta the way he did, but none of Grilled's players were complaining.
Olympic Sentosa had more or less settled for getting out of this without unnecessary cards or injuries, when Chan Ze Han
popped up with a second goal, via a right humdinger of a strike that the goalkeeper couldn't hold onto. Rolf Schötz would record their only shot on target in the 77th minute, out of principle more than anything, but it only presaged Cyril Künzler
making it 6-0. Vikram Mudaliar
then wasted another big chance, before a relaxed five-minute appearance by Hoàng Trung Quá