i. Score a goal and defeat the other team
ii. Keep it in possession so that the other team doesn't score.
I don't really watch much sports, because I think it's much better if you go out and play the sports yourself, so my sitting in front of the TV hugging a cushion on Thursday night waiting in anticipation for the Malaysia vs *Singapore FIFA World Cup Qualifying Round was surprising even to me. I suppose I got influenced by my colleagues who actually left the workplace that evening clad in the Malaysian team colours headed straight to the stadium. Throughout the day, I kept hearing snippets of conversation about the match later that day, and rightly so, as compared to just three years ago, the Malaysian team had improved tremendously. So much so that at the end of last year when we won a rather important match (the Suzuki Cup, I think), the PM actually declared a public holiday!! Seriously.
The match began rather slowly at first, without any goals scored during the first half, although the Singaporean team did a good deal of attacking, attempting to score goals as I stared open mouthed as the Malaysian goal keeper saved goal after goal. Our defence was in shambles. No, actually, our defence was practically non-existent. So naturally for me (and most other Malaysians), the hero of the day was the goal keeper. He was awesome.
The second half saw Malaysia scoring the first goal for the match. I got excited at that point and actually screamed 'goal'! Alas! The second half also saw Singapore score a goal (no thanks to the defence once again) which sort of dashed our hopes on moving onwards to the third round, as we had lost to them 3-5 in the first match held in Singapore on the 23rd, which was also a pretty good match (I only watched the 2nd half of that match, though)
Whilst the Malaysian defence sucked, the Singaporean players took turns in dramatically falling down and extreme displays of exaggerated injuries you'd think they were made of glass instead of flesh and blood. There was a time when the Singaporean goal keeper thought he was a zombie and kept clutching his head as though it was about to fall off. So much drama and game time wasted. In the end, the referees decided to give only 8 minutes of extra (injury) time, 3 minutes after the first half and 5 minutes after the second half.
* They might be known as the Singaporean team, but some of the players are only Singaporeans because of football. There are two former Chinese nationals, and three more from Europe.
The game highlights: Check out the saves by the goalkeeper.