Spectators had called it electrifying then, but nothing could top the volume when Japan took on Brazil in the same complex as the sold-out crowd’s decibel level went up several notches on Tuesday evening.
The greatest cheer of them all was reserved for Barcelona starlet Neymar da Silva, and the Brazilian duly repaid the adulation of his fans by scoring all four goals in Brazil’s eventual 4-0 international friendly win over Japan.
It was a sign of things to come when the crowd started yelling their lungs out when Neymar was announced in the starting lineup. Whenever he touched the ball, it would be accompanied with loud cheers.
While the Brazilian captain crashed a free kick against the crossbar in the 16th minute to the moans of many, he quickly turned it into chants of praises with a goal just a minute later.
Neymar (yellow jersey, number 10) rounded Japan goalkeeper Kawashima Eiji to put Brazil ahead. (Photo by VoxSports)
After making full use of his blistering pace to latch onto a defence-splitting pass by Diego Tardelli, Neymar promptly rounded Japan goalkeeper Kawashima Eiji to blast home the ball.
Even though it was not a Singapore game, many of the spectators, consisting a mix of Singaporeans, Japanese, Brazilians and other nationalities combined to do the ‘Kallang Wave’ in the 25th minute.
The cheers for Neymar continued well into the break, and there was no rest for the audience as he struck again right after the break to make it two.
The forward finally grabbed his hat-trick in the 79th minute, but the crowd had barely settled down from the boisterous cheering when they gave Neymar a standing ovation two minutes later as he plundered his fourth goal.
Japan’s fans were equally vocal in supporting their team, and they could have something to cheer about towards the end only for Brazil goalkeeper Jefferson Galvao to spectacularly deny Yoichiro Kakitani and tip his header over the bar.
Neymar and Morishige battling it out in an aerial duel. (Photo by VoxSports)
Fans alike were thrilled also by the roof which featured fancy lightings. The roof was usually open during matches and visits to the National Stadium, but on this particular match day, it remained close.
“The lights are so pretty, the stadium is so big, it’s such a pity that Brazil was just too good for us today,” gushed Noriko Ono.
Despite both teams playing away from their respective countries, there were still Japaneses and Brazilians making their way over from across the globe to Singapore to support the team.
Japan's Okazaki put in a decent shift but was unable to give the Japanese fans something to cheer about. (Photo by VoxSports)
“It is normal for this to happen,” said Ono. “Japanese people even flew to Brazil in June to support their team in the World Cup there.
“We made our way here to see Brazil play as during the World Cup it was hard to get our hands on the tickets. Singapore is a nice place and the stadium is fantastic," commented Maxim Oliviero, who came with his wife and two children.