15 July 2007
Singapore's National Stadium is due to be torn down this year to make way for a bigger and better version. I was able to attend the final event at the current National Stadium, a football match between the Singapore (Lions) and Australian (Socceroos) national teams. The Socceroos had set up a training camp here in Singapore to get ready for the Asian Cup, a prestigious tournament in which they were one of the favorites (it looks like they won't make it to the second round, however, after a couple of poor showings). The Lions did not qualify for the tournament, but thousands of faithful still showed up for this friendly and celebration afterwards. The match was a scoreless draw at the half, but the talented Aussies broke through early in the second half, and the floodgates opened. When the final whistle blew, it was 3-nil for the Socceroos. We snuck out early to avoid the crowd and get a water-side seat for some post-match refreshment. It really was a festive night in that part of Singapore - as we walked by the National Indoor Stadium, just adjacent to the outdoor stadium, we could hear the final few strains of Lady Marmalade, the finale for Christina Aguilera in her Singapore concert.