Picking Ourselves Up
There was no hiding that the Birds had failed this day, and Manuel Vadalà
was nearly inconsolable, as he confronted his admission of the three goals that had sealed the team's fate. His comrades by and large didn't appear to begrudge him those, and for good reason - the breakaways they came from had little to do with the keeper.
A stony-faced Chan Ze Han
, who had worked his socks off as vice-skipper for the day, but to no tangible effect, acknowledged Fringeheads' tactics. "I can't say that we hadn't expected this approach, but we just weren't convincing in our response. We solved it earlier this season on their ground, but there were just too many cheap positional mistakes today."
With this reversal, Fringeheads are now level with Grilled on points, if still three behind on goal difference. With third-placed Haha eight points behind after taking Bot Team FC down, and only four rounds to go, it is quite difficult to see past the Birds and the Fringeheads for the title, what more with Grilled guaranteed three points and a nice rest with Puh erh scheduled next Sunday.
"It's still up to us." Eren Serpin
gave some perspective. "If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we would be Singapore Cup winners and top of the league with only four matches left, I'll be honest - I'd have said that you were dreaming. That's how far above expectations we've come."
Farmer Bunnies for their part got a very useful away victory, as they upset Phantasm Hotspurs 2-1. Wong Ting Yew
opened from a corner, and the Buns would settle firmly into a defensive posture, after the on-fire Nurlan Ablaev
made it two from a 41st minute counter. Yang Su Seng's goal did keep the Buns on their toes for the remainder of the game, and they would again lose Tham Leng Teck
to a long-term knee issue, later on.
Bunnies captain Tham admitted that he might have to face up to reality. "Some players can play deep into their late thirties, others can't, and I'm not at all sure which category I fall into."
With this, the Buns are back up to fifth in a relatively tight table, as surprise package kala811s took over from Arcturules at the top, by defeating bottom dwellers Real Batigol. Arcturules were for their part gummed up in a three-all draw with Tecos Foreign Legion, while FC Tobi 74 and Marina Sailors duked it out in an intense 1-1, that saw Tommy Kämpfen sent off and Hung Creel possibly having played the last match of his career.
For Grilled International, there would be a lull in tournament duties this weekend - which is probably just as well, given all the problems they have due for settlement.