Spanish armada draw the crowds
23 May, 2013
Atletico Madrid's trip to Singapore for the Peter Lim Charity Cup has helped to raise SGD$756,143 for the Singapore Olympic Foundation (image by Bryan Goh/SSC).
Singapore Selection 0-2 Atletico de Madrid
Raul Garcia (29’), Diego Costa (87’)
Singapore, 23 May 2013 – Throngs of Singapore football fans who made the trip down to Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night were treated to a showcase of good quality football as newly-crowned Copa Del Rey champions Atletico de Madrid defeated a Singapore Selection side 2-0 in a charity friendly.
Fresh from ousting city rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish King’s Cup final the week before, Atletico Madrid arrived in Singapore for a few days to be part of a charity event aimed at raising funds for Singapore Olympic Foundation(SOF) to support aspiring athletes in Singapore coming from financially challenged backgrounds to achieve their dreams.
A range of festivities and fringe activities included a football clinic and a hugely entertaining football match between 11 Atletico players and 128 school children amongst others, before finally culminating in the Peter Lim Charity Cup last night.
While many members in the crowd expected a one sided affair, they were pleasantly surprised as the determined hosts, a Singapore Selection side, put up a good fight against the Rojiblancos before eventually succumbing 2-0.
Following a bright start in which Singapore captain Shahril Ishak and S-League stars Sirina Camara and Josef Kaplan took the initiative in taking the game to the visitors, Atletico Madrid’s class eventually told when they took the lead on half an hour courtesy of a Raul Garcia goal, as he stroked home a left wing cut back from Saul Niguez.
Jalan Besar was decked out in red and white, not just for the usual Singapore national team but in acknowledgment of the Rojiblancos visit for the game (photo by John Yeong/SSC).
Fans who were eager to witness Colombian star striker Radamel Falcao in action were made to wait till 58 minutes before he was introduced into the match, with Atletico head coach Diego Simeone opting to give the rest of his stars a longer run out.
Mass substitutions were made by both sides in the charity match, but entertainment was never sacrificed in the process with several Atletico players reacting angrily to the rough house tactics they felt some of the Singapore Selection’s players were using against them.
The game was eventually decided by a second goal from Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa in the dying embers of the game following a goal mouth scramble to settle the match.