Day Out On Town
This had to be one of the more lopsided cup quarterfinals that Grilled Birds had ever participated in, with the 9-0 scoreline more akin to that of an opening game, as IV.15 leaders BEDOK 138 FC finally met their match after twelve straight victories in all competitions. Loo Wan Wei's weekend brace in a 4-0 cleanout of xixi buoyed their fans' hope of a famous upset, but there would be no such luck possible against a strong Birds XI.
wasn't taking too many chances with this competition looking like the Birds' best hope of silverware this season, though he did dare some innovations, such as allowing Heng Dong Chu
his cup debut in midfield. Otherwise, little was held back against a BEDOK side drunk on success, with their head coach Huzaiman Helmi staying true to basics with a remarkably-standard 4-4-2.
That trust in his side would however be cruelly betrayed within three minutes, as the Birds had no intention to allow them to dig in and grow in belief. If Noubaryan had instructed his charges to go at full tilt from the beginning, his orders were followed to the letter. There was no time for BEDOK's players to regain their positions as Grilled pinged it about with deadly intent, and Kalki Parvathaneni
would sweep inside from the left to chip Chiam Chu Beng quite beautifully for 1-0.
BEDOK got their pressing together after the restart, and it lasted about thirteen more minutes, before Bilal Mohammad Harun
nudged past Baiju Mudaliar - no known relation of Vikram - to score. A three-goal spate from the 35th minute by Chan Ze Han
, Vikram Mudaliar
and Bilal would leave the Birds well out of reach, as the system that had served their opponents so well for so long simply fell apart in the face of such dynamism.
Job accomplished, Noubaryan did the sensible thing, and pulled some of his first-teamers; Yuta Nakakita
replaced Gilbert Webb
, who had hardly been engaged, and Prokop Mottl
came on for Mudaliar. Mottl would go on to take just four minutes to leave his mark, as he met Heng Dong Chu
's probing cross with a flashy mid-air kick. The contact wasn't the best, but the bounce fooled Chiam.
Chan Ze Han
made it seven as Grilled continued working the left flank industriously, which led into their third and final change - Chu Xin Lee
for Cyril Künzler
, ironically as the Polish winger was lining up a free-kick. Bhavya Panigrahi
was only too willing to have at it, and he dropped it classily over the wall for the eighth.
There was a nasty moment in the 65th, when fullback and captain Afi Khaled Silmi clattered Bilal Mohammad Harun
harder than was necessary, but a prompt yellow card from referee Maksim Shagurin calmed matters swiftly. Panigrahi knocked a penalty in with ease after a separate incident, but Grilled just missed double digits as Chiam saved well from Heng in the 78th minute.