St. Xavier's FC 1 - 4 Grilled Birds
Cup (Round 4), Season 7404 March 2020 04:30 HTT
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St. Xavier's FCGrilled Birds
Ahmed Eboka (62)
Bhavya Panigrahi (27)
Kalki Parvathaneni (35)
Chan Ze Han (38)
Vikram Mudaliar (79)

Season 68W3 - 2Friendly

Crossed Out
League Preview Done

Grilled's first competitive clash against fellow old-timers St. Xavier's FC would be fated to be in cup competition, despite them joining up in the same league, and the result would not be changed from their Singapore Community Cup game from six seasons back - a Birds victory. Chan Ze Han, precocious teenager then, would skipper Grilled as their main driving force today, but his knack for finding goals was the same as before.
St. Xavier's FC had been smarting after consecutive league defeats, and their narrow win last Wednesday versus Borussia Singapore Club wouldn't bode well for their chances either. French head coach François Goncalves embarked on some minor reshuffling of personnel while maintaining their standard 3-5-2, with Li Nie Jie being rested for Abhirup Mamidi - one national playmaker for another.

It was about to be fairly competitive going by the team sheets, despite Xaviers being assessed as having relatively average players outside their main central core. There was good news on the Birds side, as Islom Davlatov was passed healthy if Hovaness Noubaryan found need of him, but the Uzbek would ultimately not even make the bench, due to poor match-fitness.

Noubaryan moreover thought it expedient to try out a makeshift defence of Bilal Mohammad Harun and Bernie Egan, which one commentators thought slightly disrespectful of the opposition. If Xaviers agreed, however, they weren't able to punish Grilled for it, as they were immediately pushed back, with Bhavya Panigrahi forcing Antoni Sauri into a flying save from the get-go. Panigrahi was certainly enjoying the freedom he got on the right, and his second effort - a similar rising strike in the 27th minute - would open the scoring.

Indeed, Xaviers captain Mateusz Uchacz was finding Bilal a more than competent marker, and with Gilbert Webb playing something of an advanced sweeper role, the Birds were generally able to get two men on whichever Xaviers forward received the ball. Ahmed Eboka lashed out in frustration and was booked in the 30th, while Grilled continued forging ahead, leading to 2-0 from Kalki Parvathaneni's stroke of genius some minutes later.

It was three before half time, as Chan Ze Han followed up on another Kalki strike and nicked the block home, and there really didn't look like Xaviers had a way back from that. Levi Chin, who had just made his senior national debut in a 1-4 loss to Italy last week, was probably their best player, but even he found it hard to excel against Grilled's swarming midfield.

Bhavya Panigrahi was clearly enjoying himself in an attacking role, and when called upon for his dead-ball skills, he would force Sauri into another great save off his top corner-bound free-kick. Xaviers hadn't given up, though, and they pulled one back thanks to Eboka's excellent first touch in the 62nd minute, which eased him past Egan at full speed. Sensing the comeback potential, Goncalves put on former Bot Team FC starlet Broderick Chu, for an indifferent Hilman Abd Ghani Husain Khairul Akmal.

The substitution didn't alter the main direction of the match, however, and Sauri would be very busy trying to have his team stay within range, as he saved from Chu Xin Lee on Grilled's immediate response, before recovering just in time to stop Chan Ze Han's attempted poach from some goalmouth chaos in the 76th minute. Alas, he would have no chance when Vikram Mudaliar pounced on his risky distribution three minutes later, but that was perhaps a forgivable mistake give how Moey Xin Seng was bearing down.

Cyril Künzler and Prokop Mottl took their time entering as Noubaryan sought to eat into the final few minutes, and the game concluded with Eboka testing Massoud Dob with a remarkably strong wallop from distance.

    Drama At Woodside
    Rabbits Romped
    Munich Putdown
    Crossed Out
    Tibor & Hardi Day
    Lost In The Fog
    Midfield Decimation
    Buns Over Rams
    Cheonging To Tenenrief
    FC Matémon Get Helmi
2016-08-01 00:37:41
anonymous: Thanks for the special mention :) I would just like to expre...
2015-08-17 18:50:02
anonymous: excellent read as always!- Yjorn
2015-06-13 03:08:41
anonymous: Rasha say
2014-12-14 16:56:39
gilbertlim: well, it seemed like that.
2014-12-12 18:26:33
anonymous: I didn't play a 4-5-2
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