It had been some pretty terrible times for the Grilled clubs in the previous season, but from today's showings, they were ready to put it all behind them. Certainly, nothing much could be read into the Birds' whitewash of amateur opponents, but Heng Dong Chu
's first professional hat-trick at the age of 32, surely meant a lot to him.
"I was like, wow, when the last one crept in." the winger smiled. "It's one of those things that you dream off, then slowly forget because it's not your job. Then, when you're not thinking of it at all, it arrives!"
Moey Xin Seng
just wanted his guys to get their heads together against Club Dinosauria for the league opener. "We know what we are still capable of. It's a matter of keeping our focus."
If Grilled Birds won by ten, Farmer Bunnies were just happy to get to the second round without expending unneeded energy on extra time, with Vitaliy Efendiev
's 63rd minute finish proving sufficient against IV.35 club Mountbatten FC. The hosts had heart and played hard, even after first-choice goalkeeper Mohammad Ta'ib Hazmirul was forced off early after landing badly in a goalmouth melee. Defender Chew Pin Long would be off in the second half after blocking a shot with his groin, which finally opened it up for Efendiev to capitalize.
"The performance wasn't something to write home about." substitute striker Mushtag Al-Nameeri
admitted. "But on the other hand, we were never in trouble either. Fair enough, I suppose."
Grilled International trod the middle path with their 6-0 over Norwegian side MOAIC_FC, freshly demoted from the fifth division. A spinoff of AS Romana, MOAIC's insistence on a static defensive fared badly against an International team in full flow, with their top stars Ragib Banović
and Wang Hanxuan
reaping two each. Their threadbare squad did them no favours either, with there being no available substitute, after Ivan Andrijević folded himself over the advertising hoardings in a 24th minute freak accident.
From later reports, the Croatian left midfielder may be out for as long as a month with a cracked rib, to which Safari bin Hj Jali
expressed his condolences. "Nobody wanted that, really. It's a shame. They should really be looking at the positioning of those boards."