Pegged Without Mercy
Dizon Lays Doom
If tpyers had been hoping to avenge their 1-6 defeat from last Sunday, it was only going to get worse for them, as they went down by nine goals in what was one of Grilled Birds' all-time biggest away league victories ever. Their new stars would introduce themselves properly too, with both Gústav Thoroddsen
and Ha Qicai
hitting braces, which should put to rest some concerns about them not being able to gel fully with the rest.
Now without any other commitments, Tian Yonghang
was free to play his strongest possible side, and few could have begrudged Thoroddsen starting ahead of Phua Ming Xin
even if just on reputation and track record alone. Federico Parada
failing a late fitness test meant that Egemen Dinçer Ferzan
was an easy pick, while Evandro La Face
and Lim An Keng
were reportedly left out due to form issues. As for the hosts, they adopted a more offensive approach with a 3-4-3 today, which however would soon be thrown into disarray.
With their modest arena all but sold out, tpyers made to get the ball up to captain Kwok Ho Shi as often as they could, but their somewhat experimental style would not stand for long against an increasingly-seasoned Grilled midfield. They would hold the fort easily enough, and on the Birds' first corner in the tenth minute, Chia Kwang Tse
would power a strong header that Kok Yi Ping couldn't hold onto. Ha Qicai
was in position in case that happened, and the Hong Konger gladly stuck a boot out to connect.
That first goal only made Grilled more confident, and Mohd Marzuki Khairul
upped it to two some eight minutes on, as he tried a low-probability chip from the edge of the box, that came off this time. The hosts did well to consolidate after that second setback, though, and Derek Dizon had a lot to do with that with his tireless coverage from midfield. The tpyers mainstay would turn villian two minutes from the break, sadly, as he hacked Chad Thach
down all too viciously, after being blocked off. Greek referee Efstathios Tsirelas had a good view, and there could be no other option but to send Dizon off.
It went south very quickly for the hosts as Grilled broke through twice in the time remaining, with Thoroddsen and then Joe Reece
coming in from the left and then the right. The home crowd were not pleased when Aw Keng Chuan
's hard takedown of Kwok brought him only a yellow, but Tsirelas might have taken into account that tpyers' attack had continued. Subramanian blasted one straight at Dimitris Germanakos
after that in their best chance yet, which was however swiftly returned to the other penalty area, where Chia Kwang Tse
rampaged impressively before a letdown of a finish.
Definitely, it was not as if the tpyers set had any illusions about where the points were going with it being 0-4 at the break, even if head coach Yeo Kian Kiong had not quite given up, with new instructions clearly having been dispensed. This had Subramanian shoulder the responsibility of acting as an advanced sweeper with the entire team otherwise sitting deeper to compensate for their man disadvantage, which as it turned out wasn't about to work very well. Tian for his part would rotate Damian Hutter
in for Aw Keng Chuan
, in a bid to reduce the workload on the latter.
Grilled would have to spend a bit of time wearing the reorganized home team down, but with the overall advantage that they held, additional goals always felt inevitable. Orest Tokarz
was prepared when Brian Reddy
swung one at him in the 57th minute, at which the commentators realized that Reddy was no longer hogging the limelight. The Birds were certainly the better off for the dispersion of attention, and after additional incursions, Reece would put it in for Grilled's sixth of the day.
The match then had to be stopped for a long spell, as Lim Ming Ming had to get his left knee tended to on the pitch, after getting crushed between Harley Heng and Damian Hutter
. Eventually, Poh Chi Pin would take over from him, only to get swept up in defending from the front as Tokarz and Ha got the score to 0-8 by the 84th minute. The Birds were not entirely spared injury either, with both Mohd Marzuki Khairul
and Chad Thach
having to get looked at following physical bumps, but neither were ultimately deemed worrying.
There would be some showboating from Grilled to conclude the rout, beginning with Egemen Dinçer Ferzan
trying to be cool when presented with it on a plate by Brian Reddy
, who sliced Reece's corner delivery across goal. Instead, Ferzan scooped it back into the box, but it was all good eventually as Gústav Thoroddsen
ran it home - and didn't forget to give a thumbs-up to Ferzan. Tian was left shaking his head as he removed Thoroddsen and Marzuki for Phua and Lim, with tpyers eager to get the last word in through an all-or-nothing drive towards the end of the five minutes of stoppage time, only for Dimitris Germanakos
to preserve his clean sheet by saving Tan Kong Sze's sizzler.