Grilled Birds 0 - 1 Lawrence, KS FC
League, Season 8231 July 2022 04:30 HTT
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Grilled BirdsLawrence, KS FC
Ciro Audino (13)

Upholding The Law
Tough Times Ahead

In a difficult opening day for the Grilled clubs, all of them succumbed, as they struggled to regain their footing after disappointing seasons. The Birds' was perhaps the most unexpected, having already gone down a division, although Tanglin giants Lawrence, KS FC were certainly capable of that - as evidenced by the success of St. Xavier's FC, currently in the S-League under the same management umbrella.
In fact, Lawrence, KS FC had been in II.1 for two seasons before their most-recent runners-up finish in III.1, and despite an ageing defensive core, German head coach Micha Postha has not been negligent in inducting younger blood, not that he is above recruiting short-term fixes either; Swiss centreback Gino Revillard and Norwegian midfielder Frode Haugen, both 32, had been signed just last week for a combined total of about S$10 million, with Venezuelan goalkeeper Leocadio Angarita having also arrived in the off-season for S$11.9 million. All three would start today, as the visitors focused on a 5-3-2 with attacks largely developed down the wings.

It was a bit of an irony, then, that the only goal of the match would down the middle for them. Two early chances were recorded by the Birds, with Moey Xin Seng flicking his header off Bhavya Panigrahi's delivery well wide in the seventh minute, before Kalki Parvathaneni razed a wild strike high over the bar in the twelfth. That second would see Angarita boot a strangely-flat goal-kick straight ahead, the kind that seemed destined to run right to the other goalkeeper, but for an incredible jump by former national star Imaduddin Ahmad. That freed skipper Ciro Audino on the inside of Grilled's defenders, and the Italian veteran confidently slotted it past Dimitris Germanakos.

Grilled Birds were not wanting for possession at least, but while they had the likes of Moey, Chan and Kalki up top, getting it to them was where the young-and-learning midfield had to do much better. Chia Kwang Tse and Chad Thach had made the starting XI alongside mainstay Aw Keng Chuan against most expectations, and they had little against the hosts' intelligence flat back five, with Haugen providing extra cover. Instead, it would be Chilean forward Joaquin Leiva to wangle a penalty out of Gilbert Webb in the 32nd, but Germanakos would be the hero then, as he read the direction correctly.

A couple of free-kicks would then go Grilled's way, with Panigrahi testing Angarita thoroughly with the first strike, which dipped strongly over the defensive wall, and required the custodian to get his body behind it. What followed went straight into Scott Pferdemarkt in the wall, however, and had Panigrahi booked in trying to close the ball down. Chan Ze Han then worked a great opportunity, perhaps the Birds' best of the day, five minutes before the break - but he didn't count on Revillard standing at the goalpost, to block the finish.

That had Lawrence, KS FC still ahead after the first half, and the interval had Lim An Keng replacing Chia. Lim would seem slightly more adventurous going forward, but not quite enough to make the difference. 54 minutes in, Aw would release Kalki through the centre, and one would have imagined the forward to have simply accelerated on for the shot, had he been a decade younger. Instead, the 37 year-old had to try and find Chan as Siew Siong Feng - ten years his junior - caught up, only to have that obvious pass cut out. The away team then countered, and that ended with an overcooked free-kick from nearly thirty yards, by Foo Tse Ping.

Most of Grilled's chances were going to Kalki Parvathaneni at this stage, with the opposing defence possibly having calculated that he posed the least threat, and from his awkward headed try in the 59th, they might well be right. The Birds would increasingly resort to direct long balls as the match went on, few of which posed any real challenge to Lawrence, KS FC's well-equipped backline. In fact, the closest the Birds would come this half would be when Joaquin Leiva tried a deflect a powerful pass back to his keeper out of nowhere, which had Angarita scrambling - and furious after the fact.

Kalki would then be taken off five minutes before the end, as Tian Yonghang decided to risk a still-recovering Teo Chuan Yong, although the swap made no material difference either. Haugen will be a key member of this Lawrence, KS FC setup, one figures, from how he fended off numerous Grilled advances before they could truly blossom. It was well sufficient to help them to three points today, definitely.

    Hit Like A Ton
    Wipeout In The Second
    Hitting Bottom
    Upholding The Law
    Nigma Arises
    Just Another Opening Win
    Not So Honeyed
    Buns Bros Remembered
    Pecked Pigeons
    Awards Responded To
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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