Neil Humphreys: Iceland's dream brings cold, hard truth for Singapore
Iceland's fairy tale proves again that the Republic really has no excuses
Lightning does strike twice and it's bringing the thunderclap.
The beguiling blondes from up north are heading to Russia with love, the love of a grateful World Cup.
Iceland are on their way to the tournament for the first time in history, proving that their Euro 2016 run to the quarter-finals was no fluke.
It's The Ice Age Cometh, Part II: Global Domination, a romantic sequel to their continental blockbuster.
They are no longer just the Little Nation That Could. They are the little nation that embarrasses the larger nations that couldn't.
The Icelandic heroes hail from a country with a population (335,000) that only just beats Bedok (290,000). They are easily the smallest nation to qualify, trumping the previous record holders Trinidad & Tobago in 2006 (1.3 million).
Bedok is just a handful of HDB blocks away from having more people than Iceland and yet bets aren't being placed on the Lions qualifying any time soon.
Singapore's tired talk of an intemperate climate, a lack of sporting infrastructure and finite space must titillate the shivering folks in Iceland.
In the bleakest of winters, Iceland experiences only four to five hours of effective daylight a day. Their football seasons really are seasonal, in a brutal, literal sense.
In the 2000s, they tackled their prohibitive climate and built their own path to Euro and now World Cup qualification.
“The success is not an end in itself but a long journey towards a final destination.”Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson
Seven full-size indoor pitches complimented over 20 artificial, all-weather outdoor pitches.
And here's the bitterest pill for Singaporeans to swallow.
Just about every school in Iceland has an artificial football pitch, almost 130 in total, and they're open to anyone.
Through their ingenuity and dogged commitment, the people of Iceland have literally allowed their footballers to step from the darkness and into the light of prosperity. They impose no limits on their ambition.
The Reykjavik Grapevine, an online news portal, speaks of topping Group I after their 2-0 victory against Kosovo as a first step. Winning the World Cup is the real master plan.
It's a little tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely. Despite the bookies offering odds of 237 to 1 on an Iceland triumph, their sense of destiny is fuelled by a remarkable pragmatism.
At Euro 2016, joint coaches Heimir Hallgrimsson and Lars Lagerback knew the squad's limitations.
So they papered over the cracks with two banks of four, built their attacking raids around Gylfi Sigurdsson and called upon the 12th man.
The Icelandic fan is like the Icelandic footballer. He punches above his weight.
At Euro 2016, the "Tolfan" supporters' group won the hearts and minds of indifferent Parisians with their effervescent displays. Their mesmeric thunder-clapping terrified and traumatised the English and woke up a snoozing tournament.
When Hallgrimsson took sole charge after Euro 2016, the part-time dentist didn't fix what wasn't broken. He accentuated Iceland's quirky positives.
Before the Kosovo game, he invited hundreds of hardcore fanatics to a sports bar in Reykjavik and revealed his starting line-up.
Hallgrimsson has done this at every home game for the last five years, embracing the unique solidarity that exists between footballer and fan in Iceland.
It is inconceivable to imagine Gareth Southgate meeting with supporters in a Wembley pub to announce that he's playing Raheem Sterling in a No. 10 role. It wouldn't happen.
But then, Iceland have made a habit of dispensing with conventional norms.
Their approach against Kosovo was a rudimentary throwback to simpler tactics.
Four at the back, four in midfield, Sigurdsson floating wherever he pleased and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson playing the old-school, totem pole up front - it's a system easy to pin on a whiteboard, but hard to pin down on a pitch.
Puritanical types who question Iceland's aesthetic qualities miss the point altogether.
First, Hallgrimsson's side aren't carbon copies of Greece at Euro 2004. Sigurdsson rounded off a neat move for the opener against Kosovo and then set up Johann Berg Gudmundsson for the second goal.
And second, the thunder-clapping gang of bearded bruisers will provide a breath of fresh air at a stale, corporate tournament, which will almost certainly be played in a Russian fog of alleged corruption.
Besides, Bodvarsson plays for Reading and is going to the World Cup. Wales' Gareth Bale plays for Real Madrid and is going nowhere. Iceland have absolutely nothing to apologise for.
On the contrary, we should be grateful to have them. They give hope to hopeless romantics everywhere. They also give courage to the clueless.
A country with a population the size of Bedok has now reached both the Euros and the World Cup. Countries like Singapore are fast running out of excuses.