Świat okiem kibica

The World Seen With  A Football Fan's Eye

Tampines Rovers

21.08.2013 S.LEAGUE 2013
Tampines Rovers - Albirex Niigata 3:3

I was hoping to see some emotions - after all, the best two teams of the season were in the game - and was not disappointed even though the first couple of minutes after the kick-off were hard to swallow. I was under impression that for the first time I watch a live game yet in slow motion mode. I even started regretting my decision to come to the match instead of going to a restaurant to enjoy the pleasures of having oriental cuisine with a few drops of wine, preferably dry and imported.
After a quarter the score read 2:0 and all signs in the heavens and the earth heralded some severe deafeat to be experienced by the guests - by the way the club founded and run by the Japanese minority living in Singapore.
Tampines domination did not at all impress the team fans - the audience kept silent and sporadical applause was rather a reaction to some joke told by someone sitting nearby. The Albirex fans though (a few almost adults and several minors) did not lose faith in their idols' performance for a single minute and one of the youngsters was passionately banging the drum and shouting the team's name. The Japanese started playing much smarter and scored two goals the latter of which in the last seconds of the first half. After the break they kept on having advantage in ball possession whilst the Stags (the host team's nickname, see photos), prompted by their coach, were looking for a turnaround mainly through fast breaks. The player no. 9, Aleksandar Duric, must have been a very dangerous striker some 20 years ago - Bosnian by birth, he recently turned 43 which did not pose any difficulty for him to score twice in the match - the opening goal followed by the one rescuing his team from defeat.
I have to admit I was really enjoying a very technical type of play preferred by Albirex - the midfield players in particular must have Shinji Kagawa's photos hanging above their beds. Consistency in the approach was particularly impressive, along with early detection of the opponents' weak spots, namely both wing defenders. Whereas Albirex should definitely look for an alternative for their goalkeeper - at least two lost goals happened to be his "merit".
The stadium atmosphere encouraged a range of activities not directly related to supporting the teams. A multi-kid family next to me was enjoying nicely looking sushi from a plastic box. A gentleman in the upper row was screening the world outside the stadium, several other people were wandering alongside the tribune, back and forth. During the break, I was looking for an outlet offering a jersey with the Stags logo on it, yet only cola, mineral water and chips were available.
The organising committee enhanced the event quality by cheerleaders team performance. Few girls had a slight overweight and almost all a problem with synchronisation across the colleagues. So or so, the show was awarded with applause, precisely by four people, most probably the cheerleaders' relatives.
And all of the above for just 5 Singapore dollars paid for the ticket.