After the match, I had a talk with Tampines striker Alex Duric who had very good words to say. "That is a very good football team you have there. Fine tuning. Some more experience. Better fitness and Loyola will be champions. Our games with Loyola are maybe our best of the season. You bring out the best in Tampines, yes. It is an honor to play them. And you have very good supporters."
I asked him if this is the end of the road for him and he says he'd like to win the Suzuki Cup. He would love to play the Philippines there.
Tampines head coach Tay Peng Kee and I have a post-game discussion that bordered on the tactical. He was mightily impressed with Loyola and how Philippine football has come a long way. "You have some very good players," he said. "Maybe they will be interested in playing in Singapore." He pointed out Mark Hartmann, Simon Greatwich, and Anto Gonzales as players he likes.
Here's a pic of the post-match confrontation between Noh Alam Shah and Anto Gonzales. The Singaporean tried to shake Anto's hand or even plant a kiss on his cheek but to no avail. Anto flat out refused. More so when Shah admitted to deliberately spitting and slapping Anto. His reason was the referee did not catch it so it was all legal. Imagine that!
Outside the Jalan Besar Stadium, about a hundred fans remained where the players signed shirts and posed for photographs. Everyone including the coaches took part in this ritual.