Watched by 25,619 football fans at the National Stadium, the Singapore Selection squad, coached by legendary Fandi Ahmad, outclassed Selangor Selection (PKNS FC) 3-2 in the 2017 edition of annual Sultan of Selangor's Cup on Saturday.
Fandi was delighted not just with his team's performance but also with the crowd of passionate football fans, who had gathered to support the two teams in action. However, the former international believes that the annual exhibition feature has the potential to draw in more people and the famous "Kallang Roar" at the National Stadium needs to be louder when Causeway rivals meet in future.
While crowds are dwindling at S.League matches after Singapore national team's poor performances at last year's AFF Suzuki Cup and SEA Games 2015, a sea of red at the National Stadium was a welcome sign for the newly-elected Football Association of Singapore presidential team, who have promised to bring back crowds to football stadiums in the country.
"Every victory against any Malaysian state or team is sweet. The Kallang roar was not that bad, we heard it. But we need it to be louder the next time and we hope to be able to hear more of it," Fandi said, as quoted by The Straits Times.
Fandi's team, right after the Veterans match, treated the fans to some high-quality attacking football. The Singapore Selection were leading 3-0 at the one hour-mark with goals from Khairul Nizam, Shakir Hamzah and Faris Ramli. However, the hosts were tested in the last 30 minutes as Selangor Selection skipper Safee Sali and Gonzalo Soto scored a goal each.
Hariss Harun-led side though was able to maintain their composure and fend off threats in the closing minutes of the match to retain the Sultan of Selangor's Cup. Fandi revealed that his team's showing impressed not just the fans but also the veterans, who represented Singapore Veterans on the big night.
"I am happy for Singapore and even the veterans whom I spoke to were impressed by our players. We played attacking football and created many chances, right up to the last minute. We wanted to play entertaining football for everyone to enjoy," Fandi added.