Football: LionsXII team arrive in Changi Airport to boisterous welcome after Malaysian FA Cup win

LionsXII captain Isa Halim and vice-captain Izwan Mahbud holding the Malaysian FA Cup trophy as the team enters the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal 2 on Sunday evening. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN 
LionsXII captain Isa Halim and vice-captain Izwan Mahbud holding the Malaysian FA Cup trophy as the team enters the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal 2 on Sunday evening. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN 

SINGAPORE - Singapore's LionsXII players have arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 2 to a thunderous welcome home. 

More than a thousand fans had gathered earlier at the terminal to give the triumphant LionsXII players a warm welcome home.

The Singapore outfit upset Kelantan 3-1 in the final of the Malaysian FA Cup final at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night.

Even before the Fandi Ahmad-led team emerged from customs and immigration, the fans were already practising their chants and cheers, as well as singing the National Anthem.

Said Faizal Jamil, 31: "It's an experience you won't feel again. Priceless. We have been fans for three generations - my dad, myself and my son. We are here to welcome the entire team back and the coaches especially after all the challenges that they've been through."

Housewife Sadiah Hamzah, 34, came with her six kids, aunt and husband. She said: "We had to go to two weddings yesterday, and then rushed back to watch the game. There were about 15 of us inside a three-room flat, and when the LionsXII scored, it was as if there was a loud earthquake."

Another fan, 23-year-old Yusri Yusoff, added: "I went to watch them because I wanted to feel what my parents felt following Fandi Ahmad and the team around in the 1990s.

"I would have supported them even if they lost."

Singapore National Olympic Council president Tan Chuan-Jin, who is Minister for Social and Family Development, was at the airport too, to congratulate the team.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said the LionsXII's win is a significant boost for Singapore's SEA Games bid. 

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LOK WENG SENG, HO SI RUI