Pigeon 0 - 2 Grilled Birds
International Friendly (Cup Rules), Season 8123 July 2022 11:45 HTT
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Grilled Birds
José Luiz Velho (73)
José Luiz Velho (75)

Pecked Pigeons
Velho Valour

This season's final friendly saw Grilled Birds make their way to Latvia to play Hattrick Anniversary League side Pigeon, who have promoted to VI.1018 on their first try. Their all-local team would however have nothing to match the Birds' skipper for the day, José Luiz Velho, who excelled in close quarters to take it for his side.
The hosts would form up in two banks of five from the start, and with the rain still pouring by kick-off, it could be surmised that this was not about to be a classic. And thus it was, with the first half seeing Pigeons' Vania Sergienia-led backline frustrating their visitors; Yee Jian Hui had Indulis Spānis scramble to ward a fine drive aside in the eighth minute, but the following poor efforts by Chia Kwang Tse, Hwang Teck Fu and Toma Tamiya within the first twenty minutes, did not even merit any action by the goalkeeper.

The Pigeons knew what they were working towards as they sought to disrupt the Birds' play as much as possible initially, before gradually shifting some of their attentions towards the attack, which had them given a penalty after Mohsen El Khateeb was deemed to have elbowed Viktor Merezhko too vigorously in the box. Cameron Law held his nerve as Yan Shevchuk sought to send it down the middle, however, and the ensuing long throw out nearly concluded in a counterattacking finish by Gandhik Chitre.

Shevchuk's misery was compounded as he was himself carded for taking Hwang down later in the half, which ended nil-all. Kalki Parvathaneni's replacement with Prokop Mottl would give the Birds a little shot in the arm, as did the weakening of the rainstorm. Velho's intuitive understanding with Mottl nearly had him get the opener four minutes into the second half, as he read the Czech forward's backheel perfectly, but the angle wound up being a bit too tight.

Little enough happened until the 70th minute or so, and indeed it would be Pigeons to threaten going ahead then, with Vania Sergienia benefitting from a failed interception by Chirag Thevar, to enter a one-on-one with Law. Grilled's backup custodian exhibited brilliant reflexes again, fortunately, and Tian Yonghang was ready with another substitute to allow his defence a breather. It would be Atang Mangoye to come on for Mohsen, as expected.

It was still something of a mystery as to where the goals would come from, and Velho would finally put an end to that, with an incredible first touch three minutes later. Chad Thach did his thing down the left, lifting a seemingly-blind cross in behind Ilmārs Sils, and although Velho looked set to be first to it, it wasn't clear what he could do at that speed. Well, he would take it on his left foot and slip it past his marker on the inside, and polish it off before half the crowd figured out what he had done.

That was a goal worthy of the price of admission by itself, but the Brazilian entertainer was far from done. Now positively brimming with self-belief, he would claim the free-kick when Mottl was tripped some five yards from the head of the penalty area, to no contest from his teammates. Despite there being no attempt at disguising what was coming, the delivery over the wall and right to the near top corner, remained too good for Spānis to even get close to.

This had to be the game for Birds right there, and Pigeon would be left with watching their goalkeeper continually bail them out for the rest of the match, which also saw Rolands Strods booked for dissent. Arnolds Kamparzāle had it especially bad as his below-average agility was exploited by Grilled's attackers, though neither Mottl nor Chitre parlayed it into a goal eventually.

    Just Another Opening Win
    Not So Honeyed
    Buns Bros Remembered
    Pecked Pigeons
    Awards Responded To
    Handy Lau
    Mister Consistent
    Bilal Reminder
    Czermno Censure
    Vitaly Statistics
2016-08-01 00:37:41
anonymous: Thanks for the special mention :) I would just like to expre...
2015-08-17 18:50:02
anonymous: excellent read as always!- Yjorn
2015-06-13 03:08:41
anonymous: Rasha say
2014-12-14 16:56:39
gilbertlim: well, it seemed like that.
2014-12-12 18:26:33
anonymous: I didn't play a 4-5-2
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