Sporting Reifeles 1 - 8 Grilled Birds
League, Season 8717 March 2024 04:30 HTT
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Sporting ReifelesGrilled Birds
Lim Eng Liang (10)
Gústav Thoroddsen (9)
Hwang Teck Fu (27)
Phua Ming Xin (28)
Federico Parada (30)
Phua Ming Xin (47)
Aw Keng Chuan (70)
Phua Ming Xin (75)
Federico Parada (77)

Sporting Hosts
Phua Pops Off

Sporting Reifeles have been around the block, with the Holland-based club having celebrated their fortieth anniversary recently, so it was something of a shame that this was Grilled Birds' first-ever visit to their cosy Reifeles Avenue stadium. There would be ample pleasantries exchanged between Reifeles captain Lim Eng Liang and his Grilled equivalent Ha Qicai - both defenders - as they waited for Finnish referee Matias Ilves to get the match started, but what would happen was less enjoyable for the home team.
Considering that their only win had come against the likely-doomed ggttbtbyny thus far, with only two goals scored in their other five league losses, not many could have expected Reifeles to get anything from this fixture. That did not prevent a near full house, though, with their loyal fanbase surely second to very few, at this level. A lot would lie on the capable shoulders of 25 year-old local pivot midfield Ben Doan, who had been tasked to create miracles with this wholly-homegrown squad.

Unfortunately, they were up against a Grilled side with no cup commitments remaining, which meant that all their biggest guns - including of course Gústav Thoroddsen - were deployed. Midfield saw perhaps the biggest shakeup with Tian Yonghang picking Lim An Keng, Chia Kwang Tse and Hwang Teck Fu, with Chad Thach and Mohd Marzuki Khairul reportedly dropped for form reasons. That would not alter the trajectory of the day in the slightest, with Brian Reddy dragging Lau Jun Jin out of position with an expansive dribble in the ninth minute, to leave Thoroddsen with a relatively easy chance to lap up.

It was however 1-1 in the very next minute as Reifeles had their finest moment, with the Birds possibly underestimating their innate strength a little too much. No-one picked up Caleb Sun with Federico Parada having advanced tens of yards in anticipation of a quick attack, and Sun would make Grilled pay with a deceptively dangerous steady advance up the right wing. Reifeles had the numbers by the time Sun decided to center it, and Lim Eng Liang led the way with a delightful trap-and-chip that floated over Dimitris Germanakos and into the net, to deafening cries from all about the stadium.

Reifeles operated like a team possessed for about the next fifteen minutes in search of what would have been a sensational go-ahead goal, but this was one gamble that did not turn out well for them. Gassed, Reifeles would be struck with a triple whammy starting in the 27th minute, with Hwang Teck Fu, Phua Ming Xin and Federico Parada converging on an exasperated Wu Meng Eng, who could barely see the funny side of life as Parada's strike - Grilled's fourth - trickled past him in the 30th.

Spanish head coach Álvaro Olivares would have his men concentrate on staunching the bleeding after the whirlwind rout, which carried them to half-time without further incident. Some might have accused them of paying too much respect to Gústav Thoroddsen, who often had two players tracking him, as while that might have restricted the Icelander's options, it also left more space for his scarcely less-skilled teammates to exploit.

Phua Ming Xin was one of the main beneficiaries here, with the young Number Nine indeed looking a lot more natural in his supporting role to the right of Thoroddsen, that he had as Grilled's main man two seasons ago, even if he had managed a dreadfully consistent output then. Now released from the implicit pressure of supplying the finish, the increased options actually only increased Phua's effectiveness, as he presented defenders with several more possibilities to look out for. Thus it was when Neo Feng Keong stood off him two minutes after the restart, which was not advisable as Phua duly rammed the ball into the space left at the near post.

Olivares had perhaps been expecting more from his player, and ordered a double substitution after ten minutes had gone by: forwards Chan Ping Tian and Helmi Najmussabah were off, with Bakhtiar Fathi and Chase Nguyen handed a clear brief to try and engage Grilled's backline with increased movement, and hold onto the ball whenever they could. Thoroddsen's well-hit drive into the post aside, this gameplan did more or less come off, until the seventieth minute at least.

That was when Aw Keng Chuan made the most of more great work on the wing from Brian Reddy, who is fast becoming Grilled's latest underappreciated workhorse, with his tactically-astute command of the flank. Aw would be off five minutes later for Damian Hutter with Tian saving the influential stopper's legs, which was however quickly overshadowed by Phua's hat-trick header, a career first!

Grilled remained hunting for goal difference with Phantasm Hotspurs about matching them in that regard, and Federico Parada did his bit with an excellent free-kick just over the wall, for 8-1 in the 77th. He would go off for Egemen Dinçer Ferzan, with Chan Ze Han on for a very satisfied Phua to try and cook up something in stoppage time, but there was too little of that.

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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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