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Soccer Unity

Sunday, January 02, 2005

It was a soccer match.
A match that I do not even think that I would even attend live.
A match that I do not know who are the players, my only knowledge is the teams.

The match that I am talking about is the Tiger Cups semi-final: Singapore vs Myanmar at the Kallang National Stadium. With the light rain pouring when we were seated, I kept wondering to myself why am I here to even watch this match. Seated at the Grand Stand doesn't sheltered us from the rain with ocassional wind blowing the drizzle rain toward us. With the cold wind and dampen spirit, I wasn't in awe watching the match. The only reason that I knew deep inside my heart is - this is the last chance to be seated at the Kallang National Stadium before it got written down into time of history and be rebuilted.

Yes, the National Stadium housed the many events like National Day parade, Youth Day parade and not to forget the 1990s soccer matches on the Malaysia Cup. I could recall the number of National Day parade that I attended at the stadium, and many of times I would be seated at the normal seats. Today I thought it might be a good chance to sit at the grand stand and watch a good soccer match.

Thank the gods for the weather went off when the match started. With the field muddy and slight drizzle here and there, both team players have to adapt the condition. The Myanmar team I feel was a more skilful team than the Singapore team and they knew how to make use of opportunities to score two goals with the first half of the game. I must say that Singapore won with a pinch of luck in their pocket, as they tied off with a own goal from the Myanmar team in the second half. In the latter half the Myanmar players went playing aggressively and got several red cards and got sent off which gives Singapore the chance to score goal in the extra time played.

It was a different experience to enjoy the show from the stadium live and see how the Singapore fans behave. The fans on my side of the gallery stand cheer heartfully with the Singapore team, however, they would ocassionally jeer at the opponent team. My first thought is that maybe we do not have the sportsmanship as yet, hopefully we aren't. I understand that many Singaporean would loved to see their team into the final, but let us show more sportsmanship. There again, maybe the Myanmar crowds were doing the same to us but we won't know as they were on the other side.

Everyday during our school times we would sing the National Anthem and some of us would just be "lip-singing". Now the only chance to hear the anthem would be on National Day. As the match starts off with national anthems from both countries, I could hear both country residents singing their anthems. Perhaps only with competition we could hear the true heart of where and who each of us belongs to.

Thankfully this isn't my first and last seat at the grand stand, and if my friend is getting tickets for the final match next saturday I would be there again the support the Singapore lions as I know that the next match would be a tough one.


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