Monday, July 25, 2011

Today Online - Prepare For Ultras

Assalamualaikum... =)


The Malaysian Ultras deliberately stopped their buses hundreds of metres from the Jalan Besar Stadium and marched in as one despite the searing heat yesterday.

It was 1pm, a whole six-and-a-half-hours before kick-off.

Joined at the hip and dressed in black, they sang, and sang and sang.

They were singing while unfurling a huge Malaysian national flag just before the battle - the first Causeway derby since 2008.

Just before Bahrain referee Nawaf Shukralla blew for the start of the first leg of the second round of World Cup qualifiers between Singapore and Malaysia, fighter jets flew past overhead, but the Ultras refused to be drowned out.

When Shukralla blew the final whistle after an intense and thrilling 90-odd minutes, Singapore had won 5-3, but still the passionate visitors sang.

They menacingly hurled out "Bukit Jalil, Bukit Jalil", a chilling warning for Radojko Avramovic's men, who will have to do it all over again in the return leg in Kuala Lumpur at the 90,000-capacity Bukit Jalil Stadium on Thursday, in front of thousands and thousands more Ultras.

The Lions will have to be at their stealthy best and armed with a surgeon's deadly focus, because Bukit Jalil promises to be a cauldron of fiery songs and a mass of hissing, seething supporters desperate to perform their role of the 12th man with flying colours.

The Ultras hit their highest note after only 25 seconds last night, when a mix up in the Singapore defence ultimately gifted hotshot Tiger Safee Sali a simple goal.

Captain Shahril Ishak and his men were shell-shocked so early, 4,000-odd Singapore fans went quiet so quickly, the ugly memory of a 4-0 mauling by their arch-rivals in 2002 at the old National Stadium suddenly came to mind after Sali's strike, but no one knew that the goal was the signal for Avramovic's pride of Lions to pick up the scent to start hunting.

And for 40-odd minutes, they hunted like they were kings of the Jalan Besar savannah.

Grizzled Aleksandar Duric started the fightback, a stunning free-kick by Qiu Li followed and Singapore's red army were singing in ecstasy.

Mustafic Fahrudin's thunderous effort flew past Malaysian goalkeeper Mohd Sharbinee Allawee and, suddenly, the score was 3-1 and the home support was delirious.

When an expert cross by Duric saw Shi Jiayi bulge the net just before half-time, the Ultras briefly turned ugly.

Security personnel were manhandled, it got tense, but thankfully, common sense prevailed.

But such will be the atmosphere come Thursday. And it has been fuelled by a stunning second-half fightback from K Rajagobal's men, albeit aided by some sloppy defending by Singapore.

It raised the decibel level among Malaysia's boisterous troop of supporters, possibly numbering over a 1,000, who were still singing outside the stadium more than an hour after the match last night.

Perhaps Duric's cunning turn and finish for Singapore's fifth goal will make the difference in the end.

Maybe the impressive Hariss Harun and Mustafic can take a choke-hold of the engine room in the return clash, especially with Malaysian skipper Safiq Rahim suspended, and ease the Lions home.

Maybe, a huge throng of Singapore fans will decide to accompany their team to Kuala Lumpur, because that is what die-hard fans do.

In the cavernous Bukit Jalil, the Lions will be comforted by the sight of their own sitting in the stands.

It could work a treat if the chips are down.

Singapore threatened a knockout, but the decisive punch never came.

There is life yet, in the Association of South-east Nations champions.

And as long as they have a chance, the Ultras are going to be in full voice.

The Lions have been warned.

The writer is sports editor at Today.

Source : TodayOnline


Apa Kata Honey: Cant wait for dis 28 July 2011. Misi membalas dendam!!

Honey IsyQiPosted By Honey IsyQi

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