Linealidad For Eight
Wu Starts Right
If there were any lingering doubts about Wu Jinglong
's suitability to this Grilled team, they would be dispelled in his official Birds debut, an 8-0 whitewash of Madagascar Division Three hosts No linealidad en dimensión finita. True, Linealidad have not been around for all that long - nor have Kaos Returns or Divergencia exponencial de trayectorias cercanas, the other clubs under the same management umbrella - but it remained a first-class entrance by the former Chinese international.
Such was Eren Serpin
and the squad's general esteem of Wu, that he would debut as acting skipper, moreover at right attack amongst a front three famed for raw pace. Being 35 years old hasn't slowed Wu down all that much, and as for Kalki Parvathaneni
, he's arguably as quick as he had ever been. Being suspended for the title-winning trip to The EV had whetted the Number Ten's appetite greatly, so it seemed, as he blazed through for a brace by the tenth minute.
Cedric Raharison would try to inspire his teammates, but his isolation up top wouldn't help in this endeavor, and it was Heng Dong Chu
to switch flanks and score from the right side next; Linealidad were not exactly without hope, and midfielder Hery Randrianasolo flaunted some slick moves to bypass Bhavya Panigrahi
, but pushed his luck too far, and wound up booked for complaining about not getting a perceived foul. The hosts wound up fortunate to finish the first half just three goals down, as busy goalkeeper Gilbert Catalan stopped nice strikes from José Luiz Velho
and Vikram Mudaliar
in close succession.
would take over in Grilled's goal from Manuel Vadalà
for the second half, as did Jérémy Tarin
for Radovan Jaška
. It wouldn't take long for Heng to follow in Kalki's footsteps after those preliminaries, as Cyril Künzler
sent a cross long and deep for all comers - which meant Heng throwing himself into an athletic shoulder-level kick with abandon. The winger appeared to have pulled something in the process of scoring, but was soon up and about again after a bit of treatment.
The newly-formed Linealidad team were finding it ever harder to keep up, and while Hery Randrianasolo and Augustin Rabemananjara had their moments, it was always something of a scramble to keep Grilled out. In all honesty, they acquitted themselves reasonably well up until about the 80th minute, with only a single further goal conceded, from Vikram Mudaliar
's ranged hit. Rabemananjara joined Randrianasolo on a yellow card in the 75th minute, but for a necessary challenge on Kakli's threatened pullaway.
Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
's entry for an out-of-position Prokop Mottl
seemed to spur the Birds, who almost instantly added a sixth goal through Cyril Künzler
. The two team captains than had severely contrasting fates, with the young Luis Naves getting knocked out after he careened himself into the goalpost, as he set up to get his side a consolation. While he thankfully regained consciousness soon, there would be no taking of chances, as he was replaced by Rustam Dadaxonov for safety's sake.
Raharison took over the armband for Linealidad as Mudaliar was booked for a separate incident, but only in time to watch as the Wu Jinglong
notched his first for Grilled, and largely by himself too as he anticipated a backpass under pressure made by Njiva Ravelonomenjanahary. Mudaliar would then help himself to one more goal, as he eluded callow Australian trainee Tere McArthur down the right, before drilling it to Catalan's exposed far corner.