didn't take long to introduce himself, as he struck on his league debut against Argentina's Nediel C. His quick thinking after Hernán Farina's groin strain saw him scoot clear to bear upon Gian Luigi Varesi in the opposing goal, and Perono took care to wait for the goalie to commit himself, before flicking it the other way.
That aside, however, there left much to be desired from the newcomer. His coordination of play was sketchy to say the least, and he further exposed his selfish streak, by electing several times to shoot with teammates in clearly better positions. Indeed, another Fausto in Nediel's Kiberl was rather more effective in those respects.
A two-nil win - the other a fifth-minute effort from Abdul Hamid bin Hj Ali Timbang
- remained a win, all the same, and head coach Tajit bin Mohd
wasn't about to nitpick just yet. "Fausto fit in nicely today. A few more months, and I gather he'll be fully immersed in our style."
There was a debut of another sort for the Farmer Bunnies' Tham Leng Teck
, who was selected for Singapore's sixteen-man World Cup squad. The Lions then got off to an opening Group 7 win against Algeria with Tham at rightback; Muhd Anuar Rashad missed a penalty about halfway through the first half, but he made no mistake after he got another one, ostensibly due to Chafik Abderahman's handball. The visitors were definitely unconvinced.
The 28 year-old Tham was elated with the win, while bemoaning longtime partner Kwek Yun Jie
not making the cut. "Wong, Lau, Hu... them too." he added. "But it can't be helped, with the need to keep our tactical options open."