The 11 LionsXII players standing on the pitch at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Saturday night could not have felt more foreign, staying silent as first the Kelantan state anthem then the Malaysian national anthem were belted out with fiery fervour from the 74,000 in the stands.
But, at the end of the Malaysian FA Cup final, it was Fandi Ahmad’s gutsy charges who were singing after they beat Kelantan 3-1 to become the first foreign side to win the Malaysian FA Cup in its 26-year history.
In a fitting end to the night, the Majulah Singapura echoed around Bukit Jalil, sang with burning gusto by the LionsXII, and the 6,000 fans who made the trip up from Singapore.
“This is so sweet, so sweet,” said Fandi, visibly drained from the roller-coaster 94-minute ride, reports Shamir Osman from Kuala Lumpur. “Before the final, we promised that we would bring the cup back, and we did it.
Kelantan were so good, they had so much firepower, but the boys deserved to win, they showed so much grit and determination.”
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