More than 7,000 fans are set to paint the Jalan Besar Stadium red tonight when our Lions face the Philippines in the second leg semi-final of the AFF Suzuki Cup. After a goal-less first leg, and with the away goals rule, the Lions need to win to earn a slot in the finals.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) President Zainudin Nordin hopes all Singaporeans will wear red tonight at Jalan Besar in a show of support as the Lions aim to reach the AFF Suzuki Cup final.
Zainudin has urged Singaporeans, regardless of whether they are at the match, to become the Lions' 12th man on "12-12-12" - today (Dec 12, 2012).
"The match tickets flew off the shelves and we had a lot of disappointed fans complaining on Facebook. 12-12-12 is such a nice day and a good time to rally the whole country together to wear red and support the national team," said Zainudin.
"The players will feel very proud to see fans supporting them and this will be a morale booster … they have done a commendable job so far and we hope to give them a psychological boost for Wednesday's match."
Verteran striker Aleksandar Duric also has issued a rallying cry to the Singapore fans urging fans to be the team’s 12th man tonight at Jalan Besar.
The 42-year-old Duric now wants those fortunate fans who will be in attendance to create an intimidating atmosphere for the visit of the Azkals for the second leg of the semi-finals.
“On such an auspicious date, it will be fitting to have our 12th man behind us in our bid to reach the AFF Suzuki Cup final,” said the 42-year-old in his weekly column in The Straits Times.
“Tickets for toinght’s semi-final were sold out in less than a day and I am looking forward to the wall of noise our fans will generate.
“Sure, last Saturday’s first leg at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila was well attended by 15,000 fans. But, even with only half that number at Jalan Besar, I am sure our supporters will create an equally intimidating atmosphere.
“Their support can make a real difference. I have played at Jalan Besar for years and, every time there is a full house, it just gives me an extra lift, an extra yard and that extra dose of confidence.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who watched some of the first leg, wrote on his Facebook page last Saturday: "It was a close match. We had lots of chances but were unable to convert them. There is everything to play for in the return leg. Let's give the Lions our full support next Wednesday at Jalan Besar!"