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'Bend it like Khairul'

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Captain Khairul Anwar in action [Photo by Sport Singapore / Action Images via Reuters]

Khairul Anwar was dubbed the ‘Singaporean Beckham’ after his long-range goals earlier during this 8th ASEAN Para Games but on Monday, the captain of the Team Singapore CP Football team took to the field, having been inspired by the former Manchester United star.

Beckham caused a stir on Sunday when, during a visit to Singapore, he popped by the Five-a-side Football to watch the impressive efforts of the visually-impaired players.

While fans and volunteers took their chance to grab a photograph with the ex-England captain, Anwar was invited to a special meeting with Beckham at Marina Bay Sands.

With praise from Beckham still ringing in his ears and a signed ball tucked away at home, Khairul had to return to the business of helping Team Singapore in their next game against Malaysia.

The result of the game was unimportant given that the two nations already know that they will meet on Wednesday at the Singapore National Stadium in the Bronze Medal match.

Thailand and Myanmar will contest the final but there is sure to be a large crowd of Singaporean fans rooting for their nation in the battle for third place.

And all the signs are that Khairul is in fine form ahead of that clash.

Once again, the midfielder drove in a spectacular shot from the half-way line as the home side ran out 4-2 winners. 

CP football

Suhaimi Sudar (L), Taufiq Baharin (Middle) and Shafiq Ariff (R) celebrates [Photo by Sport Singapore / Action Images via Reuters]

Shahidil Saidi struck twice while Taufiq Baharin completed the impressive win.

Singapore coach Mohamed Zainudeen, who rested several players ahead of the medal match, said he asked Khairul to reserve his energy and sit deep.

 “It is difficult to tell players not to play well, he still found a way to score. He's a special player, and meeting Beckham has certainly boosted his confidence,” he said.

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