Home Sweet Home
was celebrated by the local press despite being on the other team, as they jostled to interview the Iranian boy made good abroad; Eshrafi, who scored two in a generally top-drawer outing, was all too willing to practise his native tongue in return.
He acknowledged that he hadn't been able to visit his family - who had instead come out to Singapore several times - as much as he wanted, but insisted that the sacrifices were worth it.
"Football is eighty percent concentration, my father always said." Eshrafi recalled. "He told me to put all of my attention on doing well on the field, and that is what I have tried to do."
It was all going swimmingly for the Farmer Bunnies too, as the White And Pinks picked up their twelfth victory on the trot. Of course, half of those were friendlies, including today's 4-0 at Chilean sixth division club C.F. Unión Temuco, but their supporters were certainly not splitting hairs.
bossed the first half and converted a penalty, while fullback Rosauro Rodríguez was UT's equivalent, who was inches from putting his team in front. The second half saw Jon Benson
take over penalty duties after Krikoryan was subbed out for Llamil Vener
, but the talk of the town must have been Tham Leng Teck
, who flattened Diego Antonio Zamorano without warning, and was sent off immediately.
The national wingback refused comment after the match, but fans assumed, not without cause, that the root cause was his under-the-surface simmering at not having been picked for recent Lions games.
"It's not an excuse, but I also think that he's been had." longtime fan Chai Wan Long said. "I can't see why he's been dropped from the national lineup, with how the alternatives have been doing."
Grilled International for their part were hammered 8-1 by Uruguay Division Three leaders ealen21, which was of course always in the picture, given the gap between the teams. International definitely did themselves no favours with sloppy defending against a rampant Jon Alexandersson, but they at least had a nice souvenir goal from Zaini bin Hj Kaling
on the counter, to remember the day by.