Grilled Birds stayed local after completing their flag collection, and went downtown to face III.13 club Budak Pondok (BP). This happens to be the second revival of Pondok, with their original foundation lasting about five years, and garnering four Division Five titles; unfortunately, they went defunct in 2009, and a short-lived resurrection in 2012 lasted just eight matches. The latest formation is near two years old, in contrast, and has built up their Pondok At Gangsa Road stadium to a capacity of some 36300.
For this friendly, the Birds had brought a first-rate midfield, which consisted of their usual strike three, Bernie Egan
and Bhavya Panigrahi
; the defence was a mashup though, commanded by the 40 year-old Yuki Irie
, and with goalie Eren Serpin
still attempting to play his way back into form. Pondok's Spanish player-coach Jordi Puig de la Bellacasa started at centreback, with their best hope probably 21 year-old Moldovan powerhouse Antoniu Godoroja at striker.
didn't wait to announce his presence from midfield, and a winding run four minutes in broke the deadlock in favour of Grilled. Prokop Mottl
had done well to hold the ball up despite trainee Sreenath Phadke enthusiastically snapping at his heels, and no-one quite wanted to risk getting sent off for confronting a Kalki in full flight, this early on.
The hosts had ideas of their own too, and Chang Choon Huat hatched one on the right flank in the 37th minute, resulting in a decent long-ranged effort from Rahul Kamsani that would in turn lead to Bernie Egan
making it two. The tables were turned in due course as Prokop Mottl
skipped his strike wide on the Birds' next attack, leaving Kamsani to collect his due on the counter, as Serpin's tending abilities remained decidedly unimpressive.
Half-time had the already-fading Yuki Irie
replaced by Jérémy Tarin
for Grilled, while Pondok swapped newcomer Izman Mohammad Zaman in for the want-out Rajinikanth Krupakaran in midfield. Neither had quite settled in when Dante Tran
made it 3-1, as Tomasz Lefik turned blindly straight into him, and this in the six-yard box!
Lau Kwang Yeow flirted with danger as he cut Mottl down on the edge of the penalty area barely two minutes later, and although Grilled's over-complicated free-kick came to nothing then, they would get a fourth goal very soon. Bhavya Panigrahi
proved himself startlingly amenable to streaking down the right wing, and Egan would manage a rare headed goal from one of his crosses.
Hungarian winger Endre Marx would then be brought in for youngster Koh Yong Li on the right, with Yu Kum Chin then on for Chang Choon Huat at the opposite flank, but there would be no hiding Grilled's ascendacy as the match came to its close. Pondok custodian Victor Deplancke would allow no further goals for all that, and made a couple of flashy stops against Kalki and Mottl; Bhavya Panigrahi
couldn't have done much better with his dead ball strike in the 76th minute, but Deplancke was equal to that too.