Not gold but only medal of pride up for grabs for Young Lions after dismal performances at SEA Games
Singapore are on the brink of an exit at the SEA games after their dismal performances in the first three games of their campaign.
It's no question that in the minds of many that this team's ability to bring back the coveted gold medal, that has eluded the country is all but over.
An uninspiring 0-0 draw against minnows Laos set the tone for the Young Lions as it was the worst start possible. Their situation was compounded further by a 2-0 loss to an in-form Indonesia team who managed to upset current champions Thailand.
By the time Fandi Ahmad's charges took on Thailand, many felt there was only one result to be expected and that was the Thais emerging victorious which they did. It also did not help that head coach Fandi gave bizarre comments following his team's defeats.
The Singapore legend mentioned how his players were not full-time professional footballers and that his group consisted of students and national servicemen. It certainly did not help Singapore's cause and only served to exacerbate the situation. Moreover, it even caused outrage on social media with netizens lashing out at him.
However, in retrospect, Fandi's words did carry some truth but then again Singapore football has been dealing with such issues since before time. Ultimately it's a complex which can't be solved unless higher power steps in.
Singapore will play powerhouse Vietnam next before ending their group stage journey against Brunei. Besides the issues pointed out by Fandi, on a footballing level Singapore has been sub-par as this squad simply isn't good enough.
In hindsight, the gold medal was already lost the moment the Cubs entered the group of death. All this team can do now is play for pride and make sure they don't prolong further Singapore football's death.