Champions Of The World
In a pivotal milestone for Singapore football, S-League club Be Champions FC have clinched the 35th edition of the Hattrick Masters, defeating Cyprus double winners Manchester United Red Devils 4-3 in regular time.
Although Argentine forward Eike Kombächer pitched in with their first and last goals, there was no denying that Be Champions' victory was built on their trio of national team midfielders - of whom Arnold Pang struck decisively in the 79th minute, to break the Red Devils' irresistable momentum following centreback Mohammad Rafa Khyril Muhymin's dismissal.
This momentous achievement caps an incredible journey for the local titans, and some already see it as putting them over past dominant juggernauts such as Herron and Isle of Flames. And while Grilled have had their run-ins with BCFC, particularly in a contentious Season 58, the squad could not help but cheer the local representatives on during the screening at the Birds clubhouse.
"It's a great day for the country." skipper Tian Yonghang
said. "And hopefully it proves to be an inspiration to the next generations, that they too can be world-beaters! BCFC have benefitted much from having an established core with international exposure, like the Barcelonas and Bayerns of the world have, and they peaked right in time for this run."
Responding to an off-the-cuff comment, Tian only smiled. "Jealous? Maybe a little, I don't like to lie, we're mostly competitive guys here. I prefer to think of it as something for the club to strive for - and I don't see any reason why it would be impossible in future."
Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
was certainly not selling himself short. "Congratulations to Be Champions, I can finally put 'scored thrice in three wins against future Hattrick Masters winners' on my resume now!"