Talk of another perfect season has unavoidably taken hold once more, with Grilled Birds already more than halfway through, but head coach Hovaness Noubaryan
was content to take it one match at a time. "There's no reason to be drawn into such speculation. For all we have done, Singapore Big Dogs remain just a game behind. It's best that we take each day as it comes."
Noubaryan expectedly had good things to say about hat-trick man Cyril Künzler
. "Cyril doesn't get nearly the amount of appreciation that he deserves. He's made the right wing his own for what, ten seasons now, and has been an utterly dependable force. Evergreen."
As the head coach had mentioned, the Big Dogs were not about to drop points just yet, though they did fall slightly further behind on goals with their 6-2 away win at the Automats. They will however be without influential midfielder Alex Zhang against Benfleet Branch next Sunday, after Zhang recorded a red card for an off-the-ball scuffle in injury time. Joker 9 thrashed KingofNoobs United 8-0, while next opponents St. Xavier's FC - likely wholly engrossed with the upcoming Sapphire Challenger Cup final against Ramseille Volliard FC - were wiper 0-5 by Benfleet.
"I wish Xaviers only the best of luck in the finals." Moey Xin Seng
commented. "Just as long as they take it easy against us next!"
The Farmer Bunnies would have it hard in their 1-3 away loss to JUtd, and further added another name to their long-term injury list, with Aswad Mohd Jafni
's season possibly over following a horrific broken ankle. There didn't seem to be much in Jérôme Gérard's midair challenge in the 63rd minute, but the duo would wind up falling in a tangled heap... with Aswad's right foot taking the brunt of it all.
Serbian gaffer Dalibor Kostadinović
was unmistakeably sombre, as he announced the diagnosis. "I don't want to make it sound worse than it is, but it's not good. If all goes well, we will see Aswad back on the pitch again someday, but I don't want to say when."
Before that, JUtd's incessant drive had seen them go ahead through Ovidio París and Rendert Tammens, before Mushtag Al-Nameeri
sparked some hope for the visitors, with his minimalistic counterattacking reducer in the 58th. There would be little question of a continued revival after Aswad's departure, sadly, and his substitute Sunil Patel
looked quite a few years off being a true replacement, as the hosts cemented victory through Gyula Bori's rush.
Sarcastic Fringeheads dropped points as they were upset by Bot Team FC, but this combined with FC Barca Singapore's 2-0 taming of Arrogancae simply meant that their considerable lead had been cut from five points to four. As radio pundit Gordon Lee aptly remarked afterwards, the big guns are being pulled out.
Over to Grilled International, IV.59 would be wiped by IV.61 in yesterday's Battle for Division IV showdown, with the Cook Islands' Spanish Kempes Valencia going 3-1 up in an exhilarating first half, with Wang Chu Chi
's measured lob being International's only goal. Arcadi Sansalvador
had perhaps his best match yet in International colours from left wing, and threatened André Luiz Curado with a stiff 39th minute thunderbolt, but Valencia would effectively shut it all down after that.