saw some things that he liked in Grilled's performance, but the head coach warned that they were very far from the ideal. "Yes, we won, but it was much closer than it should have been, our earlier defeat to BuddyBoys discounted. We're still not playing freely, and I fear it'll be hard to recover that swagger."
The next round will also be tricky, with II.4 club Singapore Big Dogs lined up as opponents. The Orchard representatives had just downed Division Three leaders Galactic Eagles CF 3-0 without too much trouble, although they did benefit from a man advantage for most of the game, with the Eagles' Liow Yeng An sent off for a spiteful shove on an airborne Chia Feng Wen in the 22nd minute.
As for the Buns, JUtd got their own back for their Emerald Challenger Cup final loss last season, as they sent Farmer Bunnies crashing out of the main cup. Bep van Nood opened in the 34th with a precise chip, and an uncharacteristically violent takedown by Namdar Zarar
on Austrums Bizāns almost immediately after the second-half restart saw the former Pakistani international dismissed. Bunnies had a couple of decent efforts through Mushtag Al-Nameeri
, but no dice as Giridhar Date slipped through with ten minutes remaining.
Tham Leng Teck
, who had returned to captaining the club at rightback, felt that it could have been a tactical mistake. "We were neither here nor there - not committed enough in defence, and short on numbers when we did push forward."
And in Mozambique, Grilled International got four over III.13 club Barça Moza in a friendly. The former Taça de Consolação de Moçambique winners fielded an inexperienced lineup, and fell to Abdul Hamid bin Hj Ali Timbang
's shooting from range, as the 26 year-old started and ended the scoring. Ragib Banović
and Collin Kleden
struck too, but skipper Wang Hanxuan
would have to retire in the 71st minute due to a swollen right ankle, after all three subs had been used.
Fortunately, it was just a minor tweak, according to team medic Kamil bin Hj Daud. "Actually, Wang could have stayed on, but there was no point in this case."