|Season 69||W||0 - 6||Friendly|
|Season 64||L||1 - 2||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 59||W||5 - 0||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 57||W||4 - 0||Friendly|
Banger In Brunei
Chu Takes It
The third official friendly meeting between the Birds and the Buns, and the first on neutral territory, would again end up going to Grilled. Farmer Bunnies would at least not wind up goalless once more, in an exhibition that boded fairly well for the teams' futures.
The Birds arguably kept less in reserve, with Bunnies handicapping themselves by playing Vivian Grubenmann
and Sunil Patel
in defence, and fourth-choice goalkeeper Rashid Nasir al Din
; while Grilled had rotated their midfielders and forwards, their players were generally comfortable in freer attacking roles. Still, the Buns nonetheless boasted seven starters who had international caps, to just four for the Birds, an area in which they have indisputably had greater success.
Farmer Bunnies had definitely put out a better side than the one that got whipped 0-6 two seasons back, and the promised lineups drew just over six thousand to Burung Memorial Stadium - which was just about the maximum that the under-reconstruction arena could accommodate. The Buns were not about to sit back passively, and the compatibility on their wings, borne of many years operating together, gave Grilled much to think about in the first half an hour.
It remained that this wasn't a first-class Buns backline, however, and a Birds goal or two always seemed likely even then. One would arrive in the 33rd minute, as a Moey Xin Seng
nearing top condition cut sharply inside Grubenmann, with an eye to Chan Ze Han
's movement. The forward lob came as anticipated, and Grubenmann found himself rather less effective in the air, without the use of his hands. Moey cunningly allowed the lob to drop for improved positioning, and lashed a fierce half-volley past Rashid with his left peg.
Formalities over, Bunnies reminded all and sundry that they could create magic on the offensive too. They had to survive a crossbar-shaker from Vikram Mudaliar
for the opening to present itself, but once it did, Tham Leng Teck
was off to the races. Yuta Nakakita
tried to reduce the angle as best as he could, but Tham's final pass got through to Wong Ting Yew
racing abreast in support, and Massoud Dob
threw his leg out a fraction too slow.
Grilled were soon back ahead, with Sunil probably making the right decision in bringing Kalki Parvathaneni
down early. Kalki's quick free kick left the Buns' defence in somewhat suboptimal configuration, though, and Bilal Mohammad Harun
popped it in from the edge of the box.
would replace Bernie Egan
on the right wing for Grilled after the break, which rapidly swung the way of the Buns. Their front two of Mushtag Al-Nameeri
and Nurlan Ablaev
could be deceptively direct when it mattered, and the former's cheeky sideheel would play Lau Chang Wan
inside, barely three minutes into the new half. Massoud Dob
stayed on his feet, which turned out to be the right choice as Lau couldn't help but fire straight at him.
The Buns would find themselves level again as they patiently worked the outside, with Dob only being able to ward Mushtag's savage effort aside on the hour. Gilbert Webb
had recognized the danger, but he remained second to the rebound, as Ablaev's predatory instincts won out by a hair.
None of the players appeared particularly eager for another thirty minutes of extra time, judging from how the match loosened up as the final whistle beckoned. Chu Xin Lee
's dinky little chip in the 72nd minute would be enough to take it home for Grilled Birds, with the Buns having to be content with allowing veteran forwards Enzo Paolo Panzarino
and Ermis Ftenopoulos
a brief cameo.