Egan Only Eager
Grilled's Singapore Cup defense began with a fairly-pedestrian 8-0 plastering of Pasir Ris semi-pros bedynamic, and had top scorer of the previous edition Bernie Egan
stay on track too, with his 28th and 29th cup goals for the Birds. It was somewhat unfortunate that he couldn't manage a hat-trick, but given that the entire squad made it hale and healthy to the big opener against Fringeheads, the supporters couldn't have been too dismayed.
bedynamic had returned to Division Four recently, after a long stay in the fifth division, and this owed much to the willpower of sweeper-skipper Guan Shuangquan, as well as Muhd bin Jaafar's proficiency as a lone striker. All this was when measured on an entirely different level as measured to Grilled, however, and Bernie Egan
would smash it right past Zhen Xianxin with his first touch in the second minute.
The Birds were certainly not going it easy here, as they fielded a lineup that would not have been far amiss in the S-League; Chan Ze Han
would flank Egan together with Kalki Parvathaneni
, surely a trio to chill any defender's spine. Where Grilled would skimp somewhat was in defence, where Czech pair Prokop Mottl
and Radovan Jaška
held the fort. The latter would pick up the team's only booking of the match in the 16th minute, for a clumsy tug on Muhd bin Jaafar's shirt.
It was perhaps just as well that Grilled's defence was almost never tested, with Grilled hogging near 80% of the possession, and almost all of that in the attacking half to boot. Their positions would gradually blur into each other, as the hosts' forced passivity encouraged Grilled to get creative, and Gilbert Webb
would oblige with a close-up conversion from a flying run down the right.
Three more goals would arrive in the five minutes after the half-hour mark, beginning with a second for Egan, whom Guan and Gao had actually been marking quite respectably. The defenders would then chip in, with Prokop Mottl
bagging his tenth for Grilled - and first since FG Alemannia 14, two seasons back - with a calm header. Not to be outdone, Jaška then opened his goal account, and made sure to thank Neeraj Muthyala
for the very-convenient assist.
The break saw José Luiz Velho
come on for Radovan Jaška
just in case, with Jaška having flirted with a second yellow too much for comfort, and Grilled duly kept on with their business. As before, it took only two minutes from the restart for the Birds to extend their lead, though this might be attributed more to a mistake from the overworked Gao Guanpeng. He doubled up on Egan not noticing Kalle ter Berg
making his move, and the Dutchman doesn't let such lapses go unpunished.
The seventh goal would be a classic Bilal Mohammad Harun
stunner, if from a narrower angle than usual on the right, but the Birds would be stricken by bad luck in front of goal thereafter. It was no secret that the players were plugging for Bernie Egan
to complete his hat-trick, which perhaps made things slightly easier than it would otherwise have been, for the home defence. Egan should probably have done so in the 66th minute, but trapped Muthyala's pass expertly, only to scuff it.
Mohd Jafni Abdul Majid
would replace Prokop Mottl
for the final five minutes, and there would indeed be an eighth, but it would come through Kalki Parvathaneni
's improvised overhead strike. bedynamic trainee Shan Congwei wasn't happy at Kalki seemingly borrowing his shoulder as support then, but referee Paolo Novara saw nothing overboard in it, and Shan's repeated pestering would eventually lead to a yellow card.