8 August 2018 is a special day in Singapore's football history. Mark that date down. For finally, Singapore have a professional footballl team that actually have won a trophy. Home United overcame Ceres of the Philippines 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium to win 3-1 on aggregate and be crowned AFC Cup ASEAN Champions 2018.
This achievement was even more incredible, as no local team managed to win any LOCAL trophies last season, with Albirex Niigata (a Japanese team in the Singapore Premier League) winning everything on offer. In fact they have also wont he league again even with 2 months of the competition still to come.
A reported crowd of more than 3,000 people attended the game at JBS, more than the usual number of crowd at local games that normally numbers in the hundreds. Fans began streaming into the JBS hours before kick-off to see Home bring it home, pun intended. The fact that it was on the eve of the country’s National Day only seemed to add to the atmosphere. It certainly worked in the home’s side’s favour as fans were driven by a fierce sense of patriotism and were vocal in supporting their local team to emerge victorious.
But the real question is, was it really because of the timing of the game, in that it was the eve of a public holiday, and being in the final with National Day happening the day after, bringing a sense of patriotism once again. Or is it because Singapore fans are a fair weather bunch, supporting in numbers only because a local club finally had something they can win.
After all, how many in the 3,000 over crowd actually know any of the Home United players? Can you even name their starting 11?