Lucky fans get tickets to watch England v Belgium
When Casper Ng balloted for World Cup tickets last year, he was not expecting much.
But Lady Luck smiled on him.
First, he and his childhood friend Ng Si Hao succeeded in getting tickets to two group games out of the eight they had balloted for.
Even then, the 25-year-old did not know which teams were playing, as the balloting was done last October, two months before the World Cup draw.
All he knew was that he has tickets to a match in Group B and another in Group G.
The programmatic executive told The New Paper: "It was really a shot in dark.
"I was quite shocked when I learnt that our ballot was successful, because honestly I didn't expect to get the tickets."
Casper had another pleasant surprise during the draw in Moscow on Dec 1.
As Diego Maradona picked out England to join Group G, it dawned on Casper that he was holding tickets to an England-Belgium clash in Kaliningrad on June 28.
What's more, he will be catching Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Morocco in the other match on June 20 in Moscow.
This will be the first time that Casper will be watching his favourite players live, and he is excited to be able to catch Chelsea stars Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill in the flesh.
He said: "It feels like a dream that what I've seen on TV will now become reality."
Casper and Si Hao will be travelling to Russia as part of a graduation trip that has been nearly a year in the making.
Both had recently graduated from the National University of Singapore.
Said Casper: "Going to watch the World Cup is something cool on its own; it's worthy of being a grad trip.
"Besides, we are big football fans, and if you like football, watching the World Cup is like one of those things on your bucket list."
To cut costs as well as soak in the atmosphere, the pair will be staying in an Airbnb tent in an indoor football pitch on one of the nights in Moscow.
The Singaporeans have also arranged to meet other World Cup fans through the popular discussion site Reddit.
When asked about security and language concerns, Casper appeared unfazed, saying: "People talk about the triads and mafias, but actually Moscow is one of the most developed places in Russia.
"Besides, we're not going to Moscow at a random time but during the World Cup.
"That's something we can rely on, finding other people who can provide us some guidance."