FINALLY! It was long overdue, but Malaysian football finally has something genuine to cheer and smile about!
Tonight, our Malaysian Tigers overcame the odds on a chilly setting to beat favourites Vietnam 1-0 in the final of the football event in the on-going SEA Games in Laos. Ironically, it was a howler of an own goal byВ VietnamвЂ™s Mai Xuan Hop in the 84th minute. Nevertheless, our boys certainly deserved all the applause for their grit and determined display throughout the Games. Especially sweet too was the fact that we exacted sweet revenge on the Vietnamese who beat us 3-1 in the group stages barely two weeks ago!
The gold-medal win ended an incredulous 20-year drought for Malaysia in the SEA Games edition on the sport! So, BRAVO to K. Rajagopal and our Malaysian boys. Here’s hoping this victory will prove to be a huge stepping stone for greater things to come. Asian Gold next, perhaps? рџЂ
The last time I recalled so many Malaysians supporting our national team on the field with such passion and excitement was when Manchester United came visiting earlier in July 2009.
That time, I remembered that night the entire Bukit Jalil stadium was filled to the brim in Manchester red, die-hard supporters of Rooney and Co. Banners and streamers decorated every inch of the stands with support and adoration for Manchester United.
Before the half hour mark, Man Utd were already 2-0 up and the fans continued to cheer as if expecting a humiliating rugby scoreline. Then, out of nowhere, Amri Yahyah chiped a beauty over Van Der Sar to make it 1-2 before halftime! What happened next will never leave my mind…
The crowd sprang to life and cheered much louder and more passionately for MALAYSIA!!! The cheers were so deafening inside the stadium and it was pretty awkward too with 98% of us in RED cheering for the other team in yellow. Then, right from the start of 2nd half, the crowd continued to cheer for Malaysia, somehow sensing the impossible may happen…and true enough, Ben Foster gifted our boys with a blundered clearance attempt and Amri sneaked in the equaliser there to the delight of the Man Utd crowd! 2-2!
Of course, we all know that Michael Owen then scored the late, late winner for Man Utd in the 85th minute but our national team’s display that night was something all of us Malaysians, albeit in Man U colours, would be proud of.
That made me reflect a bit. On the outset, we the Man Utd fans could wear our favourite Man Utd jerseys, adorn ourselves with Man Utd scarves, pins, caps, jackets, towels, etc., scream and shout our lungs out when our favourite Man Utd plays, cheer and celebrate with every victory, cry and sulk after every defeat…. and yet, tonight’s episode reminded me that we have not forgotten who we really are, our identities, that isвЂ¦ Malaysians. And that’s a good thing!
In retrospect, I am also reminded that as a Christian, we may sometimes live a life that is of this world, but we should never forget who we really are, our identity, our citizenship, that is in HeavenвЂ¦ (ref Phi 3:20)
originally posted on allandog.multiply.com