Grilled Birds 1 - 7 St. Xavier's FC
Cup (Round of 32), Season 8429 March 2023 04:30 HTT
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Grilled BirdsSt. Xavier's FC
Orest Tokarz (44)
Levi Chin (15)
Broderick Chu (20)
Vasco Cernari (21)
Randall Bauer (37)
Rafael Ilarraza (52)
Antonio Monari (54)
Antonio Monari (60)

Season 78L6 - 5Cup
Season 74W3 - 0League
Season 74W1 - 2League
Season 74W1 - 4Cup
Season 68W3 - 2Friendly

X Marks The End
Tokarz Token

Tian Yonghang evidently didn't see much hope for his incomplete team in taking on the current S-League leaders and cup fiends St. Xavier's FC, and it was indeed largely a learning experience for the chosen lads. Chan Ze Han was there to try and whip some magic up from the left, which turned out to be impossible given the presence of national midfield legend Broderick Chu, and Canadian ex-international fullback Randall Bauer as insurance besides.
With Levi Chin and Nikhil Sethi, this Xaviers lineup was basically built around a Lions core, which was surrounded by an extremely competent supporting cast. Sorin Domşa and Rafael Ilarraza made for a classic big-and-quick strike pair that would pose very different headaches to the Birds' unlucky defenders, Mangoye and Jaška. Domşa, the nippy one of the two, would show Mangoye a clean pair of heels in the 15th minute in gracefully assisting Levi Chin, only to fall to the ground clutching his right knee, when chasing after Chin to congratulate him. It seemed quite serious from his expression, and Xaviers would take him off for Antonio Monari, after a short inspection.

Chin had been one of those present in the clubs' latest meeting before this, in the semifinals of the Emerald Challenger Cup six seasons ago - won by Xaviers on the back of a Seow Tian Jin hat-trick. Seow has since departed to coach Cuban H.I. V.33 side Revoluciòn Roja, but what remained was more than enough to handle this still-raw Birds lineup. Dimitris Germanakos gave a soft goal up when he came off his line from a corner without claiming the ball five minutes on, which allowed Broderick Chu to lump it home. The restart on that goal was also disastrous, and Vasco Cernari had a free shot after Radovan Jaška stepped up far too late to play the offside trap, for 3-0.

The Birds were not entirely without their own flourishes, and the 19 year-old Gandhik Chitre could not be accused of shying away in any form, as he fearlessly attacked his man whenever he was allowed the ball. The Grilled support were quite supportive of his antics - which might in another game be regarded as wasteful - given the unlikeliness of a comeback, and Chitre would nearly get on the end of a hard pass by Enrique Baena in the 30th minute, but that was asking too much. Bruno Sobrado was booked in the 35th for body-checking Chan, and the quick free-kick saw Chitre glide past Levi Chin with preternatural balance, only to sling it way past both Berto Mesquita, and his far post.

The goal kick from that would wind up with a surging Vasco Cernari deep down Xaviers' left flank, and Mangoye would be left fighting a losing running battle with Monari, whose frequent changes of direction left the Botswanian stand-in defender staggering. Randall Bauer made good distance up the other wing in the meantime, and although Chia Kwang Tse threw Ilarraza off his finish, Bauer would pick up where his striker left off, to thrash it past Germanakos.

Xaviers were having fun right now, and few more so than Riccardo Alioto, who would give Germanakos a right scare with his lob from nearly thirty yards as the half neared a close. This ironically opened the door for Grilled with their opponents having tuned out for once, and it would not be through any special pace or skill that brought the Birds their consolating - which was fitting, on second thought. Polish Number Ten Orest Tokarz barged local veteran Rahul Yadav aside as they went for a beckoning pass, and Tokarz's finish was heavy on raw power too, for his first goal with the Birds.

Lim An Keng would enter this lost cause in place of Hwang Teck Fu at half-time, as Xaviers returned determined to stamp their mark further on the match. They were dictating play more or less at will against a valiant but under-seasoned Grilled midfield, which would often be dragged this way and that by the other team's intelligent distribution. It would be 6-1 for St. Xavier's FC by the 54th minute, as Ilarraza and Monari concluded extensive passing moves, with quite spectacular final strikes.

Tokarz, still buzzed from his first-half goal, would then catch Chin lounging in his own penalty area with the ball in the 56th minute, but his barely-legal shoulder-charge didn't buy him enough space to take on a proper shot. The action soon returned to the other end as Xaviers worked their way out from the back with a well-deserved assurance, which had Broderick Chu clip it across goal, from a promising position. No problem, as Sethi retrieved the ball, and dug it back inside for Antonio Monari to latch onto for their seventh goal.

If this was a certain loss already, it remained a good exhibition for Tokarz, who made room for himself in the opposition box upon Lim An Keng's sacrifice, about the 64th minute. None of the Xaviers defenders looked comfortable engaging the big Pole on his own ground, but he ultimately got closed down before it mattered. Tian saw no reason to risk Chan much longer in this lost cause, then, and took the Grilled captain off for Kalki Parvathaneni with fifteen minutes left, and Mangoye for Mohsen El Khateeb with five. His Xaviers counterpart Haytham Gouda saw the wisdom in that, and preserved goalkeeper Berto Mesquita in response, with backup Law Chin Jun getting in a few minutes.

    He Said Tamit Said
    No Holding This Door
    Swamped At The Death
    X Marks The End
    Wolves Sent Packing
    Never In Doubt
    Keeping The Pace
    Ling A Litmanen
    Cat In The Bag
    Quaked Out Of Red
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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