This evening was Goodbye National Stadium evening.

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I remember going to my first match there sometime in the mid to late seventies with my cousins. Those were the days when the Kallang Roar was real. The era of Dollah Kassim, Samad Allapitchay, Quah Kim Song, Eric Payne, etc…. However, although I am quite indignant when some buildings are torn down or are woefully dilapidated (e.g. Red House Bakery, Van Cleef Aquarium), the National Stadium held no such emotions for me. It’s a terrible piece of outdated architecture that deserves to go. It’s not the Roman Coliseum that warrants conservation.

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(the brothers before the game – click to enlarge)

I was given tickets by a dear friend who specifically requested that I take AS and his friends there. Which is what I did. There were two Alex’s and the big brother.

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Apart from the fact that you couldn’t bring your own water in and the queues were soooooo ridiculously long that I practically dehydrated, it was a good evening.

Got there at about 540pm when the Malaysian and Singaporean ex-international veterans were playing. Not bad. The final score was 1-1. Malaysia scored with a penalty in the second half. See the frame by frame picture of the penalty below. Incredibly, the final result was decided by a flip of the coin. Singapore won. I personally think it was staged. The tossing of the coin was not witnessed by the audience and it was probably the politically right thing to do given it was the last day of the Singapore National Stadium. Personally, I would have voted for penalty shoot outs. Hey, but I voted against the casino (I mean IR), and the tearing down of the National Library but where did that get me? Anyway, it was probably also the politically correct thing to do since it would have been likely that Singapore would lose the main draw.

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Before I game, I predicted the score. I said 3-0 to Australia and AS said 2-1 to Australia or Singapore (he was hedging). And guess what the final score was?

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(The Penalty – click to enlarge)

In between the two fixtures, there was some “entertainment”. See the pictures below. OK lah, not bad. That’s when I felt super thirsty and dehydrated and decided to get water. No way, man! Not only did they not allow drinks, the queues were so long that it was impossible. So what did I do? Went to the loo and drank from the tap and since I was hungry, looked for the shortest food queue.

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(in between the games entertainment – click to enlarge) 

This happened to be Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak. See CS eating this below. Not bad, I must say though I dumped the sausage. For S$3, not bad considering they could have jacked up the price to S$5 and still sold as many given the inelastic demand at that time (memories of A level econs).

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The Australia-Singapore fixture, despite the scoreline was actually quite entertaining and our lads didn’t do too bad. Quite a number of shots on target and even hit the post when the score was 1-0 to Australia. The goals for the Aussies were scored by Viduka (plays for Newcastle in the EPL) and Kewell (Liverpool). At the end, they played to my scoreline prediction.

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After the second match, we decided to stay for the fireworks. However, first, we had to painfully endure a combination of propaganda and a poorly executed management meeting type presentation by Mark and Brian Richmond.

Finally, when the fireworks came, the kindest adjective to use to describe the fireworks is “woefully and utterly pathetic”. That’s the kindest I can be. And I’m a kind person

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Hey, but apart from that, it really was a great evening at the stadium. I’ve been to the stadium at least once a year over the last two years but AS and his brother hadn’t been to the stadium since the 1980s (Michael Jackson concert and some Malaysia vs. Singapore fixture).

Ended the evening with a very nutritious supper at Bark Café; jug of Heineken, Wedges with Cheddar Cheese and Chicken Wings with extra oil.

Once, again, thanks for the great evening CTSL!

I’ll post the rest of the pictures on my photoblog soon. Will let you know when I do that.

Oh, before I forget, this was AS’s friend on the “other side”. Click to enlarge.

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