Lions Roar in Tiger Cup

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Loh, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Last Sunday, 55.000 soccer fans drowned the soon-to-be-demolished Kallang National Stadium in a sea of red to help crown the Singapore Lions to their second Tiger Cup against formidable Indonesia. Singapore surprised many when it took a comfortable 3-1 lead in the away leg at Jakarta's 'notorious' Senayan Stadium. Notorious because one can never subdue the emotions of the Indonesian soccer fanatics who can make life very difficult for their opposite numbers. Yet, the Singapore team was not unduly perturbed and went about playing disciplined football to silence both the 100,000 home crowd and their team.

    When Singapore played host last Sunday, it was Singapore's turn to show its appreciation to the unexpected good run by its relatively young team by turning up in full force and donning the red colours of the national team. In contrast, there was only a small pocket of about 500 white-shirted Indonesian supporters. Even before the game, victory was well expected and indeed, the Lions struck first to deny the Indonesians of making a comeback, which they did in KL during the second leg of their match against Malaysia and won despite losing the first leg. But a repeat of that match in Singapore was not to be and Singapore ended the 90 minutes with a 2-1 scoreline and an aggregate 5-2 against runners-up Indonesia.

    The impressive show of support from Singaporean fans was most unexpected and thoroughly welcomed. Despite have a professional league for about 10 years, Singapore football has been rather disappointing at both regional and international tournaments. So interest in the national team has dwindled and a big majority gave Singapore no chance at all in the Tiger Cup. It was therefore a big surprise to the fans that Singapore performed so well during the earlier stages and even survived to challenge for the title. I was so impressed with their outings that I even joined the small die-hard fan group to the first-leg semi final game against Myanma in Cheras, KL last December. The arduous coach journey to Cheras was well-worth as our boys beat the Myanmese convincingly and even elicited 3 red cards from them.

    Thailand was always at the forefront in Southeast Asian soccer, but somehow it failed to enter the second round or the semi-finals at this Tiger Cup, it having won twice previously. And Indonesia has managed to poach Thailand's two times winning coach, Briton Peter Withe, to mould the Indonesian players into such a tight fighting unit for the finals agains Singapore. Only Myanma (4th), Malaysia (3rd), Indonesia (2nd) and Singapore qualified for the semis.

    Singapore's success has much to do with the new Serbo-Montenegrin coach, "Raddy" Avramovic. Barely into his second year with the National team, he has transformed it with self-belief and confidence as a playing unit and now achieved success as the unofficial champion of SE Asian, which the Tiger Cup represents. There is still the Southeast Asian Games in Manila this year for the team to prove that the Tiger Cup victory is no fluke.

    Soccer is the number one sport in Singapore. It is well supported by the schools, the professional S-League, the commercial sponsors, a well organized FAS (Football Assn of Singapore) which is perhaps the richest sports institution in Singapore. And the FAS has a well laid out plan to ensure that soccer here is continuously supplied with young talents with its NFA (National Football Academy launched in Aug 2000 to handle the under-15, 16, 17, 18 and under-21 levels), the National Youth Football Academy (under-14 squad) and its Centres of Excellence (COE).

    How nice it will be to have 55,000 fans cheering for our badminton heros! But this will not be possible as current indoor stadiums are not even big enough to accommodate half that number. And, unlike the FAS, the SBA has still to work harder to attract talents and sponsors to support its cause. This again will also depend on the world body, the IBF, and how fast it could promote the game worldwide.
     

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  2. *GaDe~CaMiLlA*

    *GaDe~CaMiLlA* Regular Member

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    mm........who win?
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singa the Lion! :)
     
  4. *GaDe~CaMiLlA*

    *GaDe~CaMiLlA* Regular Member

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    wow。。。singapore win。。。。。i thought thailand win,coz thailand is good in soccer。
    :D
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Ya, everyone thinks that Thailand should be able to win for the third consecutive time, but they can't even make it to the semi-finals. Maybe because they lost their English coach to Indonesia that they lost? :crying:
    And Indonesia benefited as they became runner-up to Singapore.

    Didn't know you're interested in soccer too. :D

    How about making a beautiful wallpaper for me? But I would prefer at least one good clear, contrasting and distinctive photo of Zhang Ning, with a subdued background of her other action pictures. :p
     
  6. Amateur

    Amateur Regular Member

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    I was there, very happy to be there!

    seeing the spore audience cheer and doing the spore
    wave, I can say it's more speculator than national day
    parade.

    before the match and after the match, we can even hear the fans
    cheering and singing their way out of the stadium.

    Singapore Ole!
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Yes, I think the atmosphere was terrific, even better than NPD, and more spontaneous! :)

    I wished I was there too, but I couldn't get tickets. Fancy going up all the way to KL to suplport our team and not being able to get a ticket back home! :crying:
     
  8. *GaDe~CaMiLlA*

    *GaDe~CaMiLlA* Regular Member

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    sure...i can make for u! but can send me the pics of zhang ning that u want,it is better for me and for u too......hehe



    :D
     
  9. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Congrats to the Lions.. you guys played very well. i watched the final leg on t.v , Lions really control the game and the tempo , even the Indonesians keeo charging.. a very well deserved win! :)
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I confess I don't have good pics of Zhang Ning, only those you've done so far. I think you are much better with the pictures and you know where to get them from the various websites. Pls try. :)
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Thanks ants. I was very surprised with their calmness when I was up in KL to watch them. Quite a class above what I used to see of the Singapore team. I hope they can maintain their standard for now and improve upon it when the SEA Games comes around in Dec. ;)
     
  12. *GaDe~CaMiLlA*

    *GaDe~CaMiLlA* Regular Member

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    hmm.......haha...u don't have any good pics of her...it's strange,coz u r zhang fans!!!

    i will make for u soon......
    :p
     

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