Plankenhausen In Concord
Moey Cuts Loose
Grilled Birds settled on a 3-3 away draw for their friendly in Liechtenstein, as Division Two hosts Concordia Plankenhausen - who had also won two of their country's Challenger Cups - proved a very well-matched opponent. The lead would change hands over the space of about an hour, with the Birds' inspiration hailing mostly from Moey Xin Seng
, who had only too much repressed energy after sitting out Sunday's league match.
Plankenhausen's undisputed marquee player Ivar Hellkvist would start, and the S$9 million-rated Swedish forward would fittingly nab the initial goal, in the eleventh minute. It was however team elder Teemu Kyllinen who made it, as he reminded Bernie Egan
of the perils of underestimating his reduced yet still formidable pace.
There had actually been quite some action before that, with Islom Davlatov
forcing Rolf Schläppi into making the first save of the day, swooping from the right; Dan Seng
had also been in trouble, and only narrowly escaped yielding a penalty, having clattered Detlef Tschütscher as he broke through the middle. It was two by the 25th minute, as Gian Goop showed few signs of his supposed ankle pain, in reaching the finishing header before Jérémy Tarin
Grilled's star would rise after this setback, and although Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
's reducer in the 31st wouldn't win any awards for elegance, it was exactly what the team needed at that point. Chan Ze Han
, and then Moey, and carried the ball most of the way, but the ending was basically wild scuffing in a crush of bodies.
The introductions of Kalki Parvathaneni
and Bhavya Panigrahi
for the second half breathed new life into the Birds' game, and they began to severely press Plankenhausen's quality but ageing and understaffed midfield. Tarin would sound the clarion with a homing effort from some thirty yards that might well have embarassed Schläppi, who wound up in the back of his own net, as he scrambled to make up ground.
Moey then reiterated his value to the Grilled squad, as he turned from creator to target man in the blink of an eye. Prokop Mottl
had been carrying that weight, if not particularly wonderfully against the physically-superior Néstor Martín Aguiar, and Moey was just the shake-up that the Birds were crying out for. He collected the ball tidily despite Aguiar's breathing down his neck, and whipped it around Schläppi in one magnificent turn.
If that weren't enough, Moey was back at it a couple of minutes later, after scanning the surroundings and detecting no palatable passing options. As such, he went for the fallback lob... and saw it drop right in off the far post.
Plankenhausen wouldn't go quietly into the night, however, and Hellkvist would come up with the goods once more; Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
really didn't have much choice with his handball, as he was facing the other way. Teemu Kyllinen squared off with Dan Seng
, and wouldn't have much issues with converting the penalty as Seng committed to his left side much too early.
There was a small buzz when Leonard Nguyen
entered in place of Velho for the last five minutes, and made as if to run his legs off in that timespan. The hosts just about held on, though, for what was probably a fair result all considered.