Fans spellbound by six-star Argentina
The 2014 World Cup finalists delight the National Stadium crowd with their attacking display
For many football fans here, last night was a dream come true.
At the National Stadium, football powerhouses Argentina took on Singapore in a friendly match and they didn't disappoint, finishing 6-0 winners in front of 28,044 spectators.
Even without Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, who was given permission to skip the match, Argentina were still in an attacking mood.
The world No. 2 team soon left Singapore playing catch-up with their nutmegs and fluid passing, and by half-time, Argentina were already 2-0 up.
Izzat Ishamuddin Rani, a fan of Juventus star Paulo Dybala, was delighted to see the two-time World Cup winners in the flesh.
The 25-year-old said: "I always watch players like (Angel) di Maria and Dybala on TV so it feels amazing to have Singapore host them.
"Messi would have made a huge difference. It's a setback for the Argentine team but they have been nothing less than impressive.
"The support from the fans was great too. The Juventus fan club (in Singapore) came down although Dybala is just one player."
Partheeban Tamilselvan, 42, who attended the match with his family, was confident of seeing a glut of goals.
The support from the fans was great too. The Juventus fan club (in Singapore) came down although Dybala is just one player.Izzat Ishamuddin Rani, a fan of Juventus star Paulo Dybala
He said: "The difference in talent between the two teams was clear. Argentina's passes were more accurate, their movement more fluid.
"Our boys were playing really defensively.
"All 11 Argentinians were impressive. Although I don't like di Maria, he was especially skilful."
While most were not expecting the Lions to shock the visitors, some Singapore fans were hoping to see a good performance by the Lions, especially after their Asian Cup qualifying loss to Taiwan last Saturday.
Alex Chai, a sales manager, thought Singapore should have done better against Argentina.
The 39-year-old said: "The Singapore team were putting in some effort to show the fans that they were trying hard to recover from the recent loss.
"(National coach) V Sundramoorthy's style is too defensive and we are clearly not getting the results we want."
But other Singapore fans were pleased with the Lions' performance.
Henry Khoo, 25, was surprised by the defence Singapore put up, but was less happy with the overall strategy of the team.
He said: "It was good that Singapore were defending well against a big team (like Argentina).
"But Sundram is too conservative in his tactics.
"It's hard to say if he's the right man for the job or not because you need different strategies for different opponents.
"Singapore need to step up their attack."
If entertainment for the fans was what the organisers had in mind when they planned the fixture, then it was mission accomplished as far as national serviceman Aliff Akbar was concerned.
The 21-year-old said: "Di Maria really put up a stunning show, it was amazing to see him play.
"But I hope we can see more powerhouses come down to Singapore.
"This match is definitely a great experience, not only for the national team, but also for the fans."
Farid Jaapar, 33, was also glad to see more security measures put in place in the wake of recent terror attacks overseas.
In April, the Borussia Dortmund team bus was targeted ahead of the German club's Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Monaco.
Farid said: "There have been a lot of incidents around the world lately. It's good that they've stepped up security measures to make everyone feel safe." - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JOLENE ANG