28 Dec '11, 9pm

Football at the crossroads: Two nations were gripped with anxiety as Malaysia and Singapore fought for a spot in...

SINGAPORE - The crawl of traffic to the stadium began five hours before kick-off. Many decided to park their vehicles on the side of the road and walk miles to their destination; so many others agreed with the increasingly agitated drivers and spilled out of their taxis to join the exodus. Caught in the midst of it, I witnessed pure football theatre. As the fans snaked towards the arena there was the incessant hum of excited chatter at what lay ahead. Tribal songs rang out intermittently. There were thousands of painted faces and the banging of drums and the sale of jerseys and T-shirts and burgers and buns and drinks of suspicious colours. It was an intense atmosphere usually played out at cathedrals like the Maracana, Anfield and the Santiago Bernabeu, but this year, on July 28, the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur swooned with a world-class football fever. Two nation...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Sports/EDC111229-0000074/Footb...

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