Two For Leo
Grilled's trip to Sri Lanka concluded with a ten-nil win over Division Three hosts Java Lane SC Colombo, but there was more than enough goodwill to go around after that, as Java Lane took it in their stride. There was little pretense at defense as 39 year-old Spanish head coach Vicente Arboleda joined in the fun in midfield, where he had to contend with a Moey Xin Seng
that never knew how to go easy on opponents.
It was a fairly young team for Java Lane otherwise, with only midfielder Supun Jayatilleka and Chandika Asar over twenty years of age, as Arboleda was. They were not wanting for motivation, and Grilled would find themselves thrown off by their sheer workrate for the first twenty minutes or so. Barely would a Grilled man receive the ball in the final third, without two or three youngsters snapping at his heels.
Their stamina hadn't been built up properly, however, and many were gassed after that initial adrenaline rush. This was where Leonard Nguyen
came in, as he wrestled his way past Asar to lob Yannick Achour in the 28th minute. Nguyen would have a second within six minutes with a pop from distance, with Prokop Mottl
having also scored after some clinical approach play from Chan Ze Han
There would then be a short stoppage after Nguyen's second goal, with up-and-coming Paraguayan winger Laureano Monje having turned his ankle, trying to follow Bilal Mohammad Harun
on that move. The 17 year-old had overall been competent on the right, and it was a relief that he would be back up and running after some magic spray. Bernie Egan
would nonetheless make it 4-0 by uncharitably attacking Java Lane's weakened left flank, before Moey Xin Seng
's attempted fake-and-shoot was recognized by Achour.
The second half had Neeraj Muthyala
on for Bilal, with goalkeeper Eren Serpin
again given a shortened stint; it must be questioned as to how effective it would be in getting Serpin back up to speed, though, given that he would barely touch the ball; perhaps recognizing this, Hoàng Trung Quá
made it a point to involve him in backpasses perhaps more than strictly was necessary.
In any case, Moey would get his goal five minutes in, forcing his way inside with intent as the Java Lane defenders focused on other threats. It said something that Arboleda turned out to be their most effective player by this point, as he made full use of his vast experience to prevent Grilled from getting through too cheaply. That didn't stop Mottl and Bhavya Panigrahi
from upping the scoreline to 7-0 by the 75th minute, which saw Leonard Nguyen
's hat-trick hopes dashed as he got replaced by Islom Davlatov
Davlatov would pick up right where Nguyen left off, and after the hosts' lone shot on target that had Laureano Monje agonizingly tap wide after Tzevetan Stoilov's initial effort had left him with a beckoning net, Grilled's Uzbek hitman would grab a brace with goals in the 84th and 86th minutes. Bernie Egan
would then have the curtain call, with a showman's volley with his weaker foot.