Agus Ganged Upon
Chu Runs Train
Freshly-established Armenian third division club Agus Gang might be full of youthful vigour, and endowed with links to Spain's A.D. Arganda and Portugal's Povoa Barzim to boot, but all this would count for little against the visiting Birds. To be sure, their Hungarian head coach Dániel Németh had been much more concerned about building the correct mix of players, which has seen them quite impressively run through over a hundred transfers, loans and other deals, in the past month and a half.
They did manage to draw over 1100 in spite of the considerable overnight rainfall, which showed few signs of abating. That said, the skill gap between the teams was wide enough that it didn't really matter. Németh had picked an international U-20 cast for the friendly, with the very obvious exception of German midfielder Ulf Ketelhodt, who had just left Dynamo Hinterschnerzelwitz on a free at 37 years of age, after twenty seasons there. Ketelhodt reportedly has no plans to retire here, however, and is playing under an agreement to advertise his skills to other interested parties.
If that was the intention, though, Ketelhodt might have to wait for another match to create his pitch video, as Grilled Birds ran rings around him - and his teammates - today. Having to match wits against the likes of Moey Xin Seng
was undeniably unfair, it went without saying, and Ketelhodt would arguably be Agus Gang's top player. There would be no hope of their counterattacking tactics coming good, however much teenaged Danish skipper Konrad Søholm tried to direct from leftback, as the Birds battered them throughout.
The hosts did hold out with some difficulty for fifteen minutes, with some heroic efforts from Søholm and the debuting Bob Cerny, to latch onto Chu Xin Lee
in particular. Unfortunately for them, Chu was on a quest to work himself back into regular first-team contention, and in no mood to hold back. This resulted in several probably suboptimal plays, but Chu's selfishness would then reap returns, with a stiff grounder past Horia Dumitraşcu.
Two more goals followed in the next four minutes, with defender Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
next to come good, as the Birds could afford to all but abandon fixed roles in attacking. Dumitraşcu's morale would take a further blow as he positioned himself naively against Bhavya Panigrahi
's free-kick. Panigrahi would be denied by the woodwork in the 26th minute, but no matter, as Chu Xin Lee
elbowed Cerny out of the way for Grilled's fourth. The Agus Gang backline would protest to referee Uwe Halem, who however didn't seem to have seen that.
The Birds dialled it down until the second half, which began with Kohei Okuya
on for Jérémy Tarin
, and a bold triple substitution from the home team. That didn't stop Chu from nearly completing his hat-trick with his first touch of the period from a nicely-controlled corner, though Yee Jian Hui
would be the one fated to finish it off, with an instinctive backheel.
Chu's third would come in the 70th minute, and was moreover all down to himself, as he read Dumitraşcu's goal kick perfectly, to the trainee keeper's despair. Before that, Moey Xin Seng
had already made it 6-0 with an intelligent dash in behind as Gilbert Webb
sought an outlet, and the game's only yellow card would go to Gøran Korsvik for his uncalled-for reaction in the aftermath.
Moey seemingly wanted a hat-trick of his own too, from how he started to bomb forward far more frequently, but he would have to settle for a brace no thanks to a horrendous miss in the 74th; he did find the mark with a far harder shot two minutes later, putting it right inside the top left corner. Just two minutes of injury time was awarded, which however was enough for Chu and Yee to add to their haul.