On 25 August 2012, Daddy surprised the family when he bought tickets to a soccer match at the Jalan Besar Stadium. We had never been to a live football match before and we were really excited. The stadium was packed with a 3000 strong crowd of LionsXII supporters. Many were cheering while waving scarves or hitting their clappers together. After waiting for 18 long years, Singapore was finally back in the Malaysian Super League (MSL), finishing second in the previous season after Kelantan FC.
PKNS started the ball and scored early in the eighth minute of the first half, shocking the fans. Despite this, LionsXII fought back and scored a terrific equalizer in the tenth minute. The atmosphere was very tensed. All eyes were on the ball, waiting to see who would score next. A free kick for the LionsXII, 25 meters away from the PKNS goal, saw Shaiful Isah shoot the ball high above the PKNS defenders and into the goal, propelling LionsXII to a 2-1 lead. A few more shots by PKNS saw Singapore goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at save some fabulous shots. The rest of the first half saw some close shots by both LionsXII and PKNS, but both failed to score any goals. During half time, games were played. The spectators enjoyed the light-hearted moments and roared with laughter upon seeing the amusing antics.
In the eighteenth minute of the second half, Khairul Amri tapped in a pass from his team mate, Hariss Harun, giving LionsXII a two goal advantage over PKNS. The PKNS players tried to score, but Hyrulnizam Juma’at’s goalkeeping skills were excellent. A volley from a PKNS attacker nearly went in, but a LionsXII defender headed it away in time. When the referee blew the final whistle at the end of the 90-minute match, the LionsXII fans on the stands erupted in loud cheers, while the PKNS fans covered their faces with their hands.
It was the first time we watched a live football match. The experience was great; everybody cheered when LionsXII won. Even Li-Ann was waving her clappers as if her hands were like machines that never tire. We went home that night with our minds replaying the gripping scenes that led to the excellent goals.