Grilled head coach Hovaness Noubaryan
had little to comment on his team's performance, in their last friendly before the new campaign. "They were all sharp, as you can see. A bit of a shame about Mohd Jafni, but he's recovering excellently. Easier to see the funny side, after some time has passed."
As to whether the Birds had any final transfer deals in mind, Noubaryan hinted that their shopping was done - not that it had really begun. "While we're always on the lookout for guys who can improve the squad, there's some incredible chemistry going on now. We'll be observing how it goes very closely for our first few S-League games, but I personally wouldn't expect too many new additions."
Farmer Bunnies would welcome Filipino III.9 winners FC United of Sarpsborg to Carrot Field some hours later, and would be nonplussed by Swiss veteran Franjo Hollerleitner's fifth minute novelty. FC United fully occupied the Buns for the first half-hour or so, before the match got turned on its head, following a nasty full-on collision between Jon Benson
and Alberto Moreno in the centre circle.
The match was restarted with a drop ball, and Mushtag Al-Nameeri
would get on the end of the ensuing indirect free-kick, before sending a corner in onto Kwek Yun Jie
's head. Vivian Grubenmann
then recorded the third friendly goal of his career from the penalty spot, and Nurlan Ablaev
contributed a fourth, all before half-time.
Ablaev would close the game out in the 65th minute from a narrow angle, with substitute Ibrahim Zahran Al-Maashany
frustratingly clipping the crossbar. Dalibor Kostadinović
looked thoughtful on the sidelines, but made no comments after the job was done.