SINGAPORE, 26 JULY 2023 – They waited four years to see their beloved team return to Singapore and Tottenham Hotspur fans here did not hold back. They welcomed the team at the hotel at 2.30am, returned on subsequent days to greet the team, and cheered them on during Open Training. On Wednesday (July 26), Tottenham Hotspur fans were rewarded with a goal fest as Richarlison’s hat-trick helped Spurs beat the Lion City Sailors 5-1 to clinch the Tiger Cup.
Stars including Harry Kane and Son Heung-min dazzled over 25,000 spectators at Singapore Sports Hub’s National Stadium in the opening match of the Singapore Festival of Football Driven by CDG Zig and fans of both teams were in high spirits throughout the 90 minutes.
Their support did not go unnoticed by Tottenham Hotspur head coach Ange Postecoglou who thanked the fans during his post-match press conference. The Australian said: “We got a great reception and great welcome here. They’re there every day at the hotel as well. They came out tonight and I’m glad they got to see a few goals and the players they’ve admired from afar up-close. We’ve had a great welcome and it’s a great stadium to play football and the players have enjoyed it.”
The crowd erupted into vociferous cheers after 2021 Singapore Premier League champions Lion City Sailors opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Shawal Anuar. Belgian winger Maxime Lestienne’s cross was deflected into Shawal’s path and the Singaporean made no mistake from close range to the delight of their fans.
Tottenham Hotspur equalised through a Kane penalty right before the half-time whistle. Half-time substitute Richarlison later delivered the goals the crowd were asking for, scoring two quick goals in the 48th and 52nd minute to establish a comfortable lead for his side. The Brazilian then had two goals disallowed before Giovani Lo Celso added a fourth for the English Premier League club in the 73rd minute. Richarlison later added the cherry on top by completing his hat-trick in stoppage time.
Son added that the win will boost the team’s confidence as they conclude their pre-season preparations. The South Korean said: “I think the atmosphere was fantastic. The result is not important at the moment because we are getting our fitness back, and (figuring out) how we want to play is very important now. We scored four goals in the second half and it was really important to get our confidence up.”
Lion City Sailors forward Shawal has named the goal as the highlight of his career so far. He said: “I’m definitely very happy, and I can’t express this feeling. It’s definitely a team goal. (This match was) a great experience for the team. This will build my confidence and the team’s confidence. We will try to build on and bring this momentum as we focus on our next Singapore Premier League game next week.”
Head coach Aleksandar Rankovic also emphasised that the experience will help the club as it prepares for the upcoming AFC Champions League (ACL). He said: “We have gained a lot from this game. We’ve experienced the way that top opposition can play in terms of speed, physical power, tactical awareness, everything. This is a great learning match for my team. The guys gave their best… I was looking at this game as a learning process, something that we can apply in the ACL and build up from there.”
Football fans can look forward to more enthralling action as the sizzling football fiesta continues with two matches featuring Premier League giants Liverpool FC. The Reds will defend their Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy against Leicester City FC on 30 July before facing Bundesliga champions FC Bayern Munich in the Singapore Trophy presented by Audi and Standard Chartered on 2 August. Tickets for the final match are selling fast with just 1,000 left. The Reds will also hold an Open Training Session on 29 July.
Off the pitch, fans are encouraged to attend the Football Interactive Fanzone, which will be open on match days, Liverpool FC’s open training day, and 1 Aug prior to the Liverpool FC and FC Bayern Munich game. Fans will get the chance to meet club legends, giving them a once-in-a-lifetime moment with their football heroes. There will be photobooths, giveaways and performances, along with Q&A sessions with club legends. Fans can also meet the team mascots including Mighty Red of Liverpool FC and FC Bayern Munich’s Berni.
Tickets for the Singapore Festival of Football Driven by CDG Zig can be purchased at https://premier.ticketek.com.sg/shows/show.aspx?sh=SFFUM.
For more information on the event, please visit www.ticketek.com.sg.
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The schedule of the Singapore Festival of Football Driven by CDG Zig is as follows:
|Day||Date||Singapore Festival of Football||Time|
Open Training – Liverpool FC
|1500 – 2030|
2030 – 2130
|Sun||30-Jul||SFOF FanzoneLiverpool FC vs Leicester City FC||1230 – 1730|
|Tue||1-Aug||SFOF Fanzone||1500 – 2000|
Liverpool FC vs FC Bayern Munich
|1500 – 2000|
Photo credit – Singapore Festival of Football Driven by CDG Zig