Unraveling SFOF23: Liverpool FC, FC Bayern, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Lion City Sailors Ignite Kallang



Supposedly to bill as “Jose Mourinho Derby” – a match that never materialised which resulted in having local side Lion City Sailors (LCS) as a late replacement for AS Roma following the decision by the Italians to scrap their Far East tour.

Should it have taken place, it would be quite a spectacle to see the Portuguese tactician, who is now in charge of Roma, facing his former employers who sacked him in April 2021.

Englang captain Harry Kane played his last game for Spurs?
England captain Harry Kane (second from right) played his last game for Spurs?
But the gloss was definitely on England captain Harry Kane when he could have possibly led Tottenham Hotspur out of the tunnel for the last time as Spurs skipper when they took on LCS at the National Stadium.

Spurs coach Ange Postecoglou gave no comment when asked about his talisman’s status during the media conference prior to his side’s open training session a day before the match, according to various sources.

“After everything that Harry Kane has done for Tottenham, I don’t think anyone would begrudge him a move to a bigger club – especially at this stage of his career.” said Fabius Chen, a lifelong Spurs fan.

“Of course I would love for him to stay, but if he is to leave then I hope the business will be done as soon as possible, so that the club can begin rebuilding for a future without him.” added the former sports journalist.

Had Harry Kane scored his last goal for Spurs?
Had Harry Kane scored his last goal for Spurs?
Hat-trick hero Richarlison hoisted the Tiger Cup after defeated Lion City Sailors 5-1 in the SFOF23
Hat-trick hero Richarlison hoisted the Tiger Cup 

The match saw the LCS stun the crowd of 25,095 when they took the lead in the 14th minute through Lions striker Shawal Anuar before a penalty decision allowed Kane to level the game before halftime.

It was a different ball game after the interval when Brazilian international Richarlison’s hat-trick and a goal from Giovani Lo Celso helped The Lilywhites to secure the Tiger Cup.


Exodus of marquee names like “Bobby” Firmino, Jordan Henderson, etc. have some Liverpool faithful wondering if their hopes to recapture the English Premier League (EPL) title would hit a kerb despite the recent recruiting of World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Hungarian captain Dominik Szoboszlai from Brighton & Hove Albion and RB Leipzig respectively.

Mo Salah (11) thrilled the crowds with his trickery

In spite that sense of pessimism, the Reds got down to work straight away with a 4-0 win over former EPL side Leicester City in front of 28,597 fans at an unusual kick-off time at 5pm on a Sunday evening which coincided with a Jacky Cheung concert at the nearby Singapore Indoor Stadium.

This was a stark contrast to the 50,217 who turned out to see the Reds face Crystal Palace last year.

Toning down the already bland appetite for the match was the absence of Leicester City superstar Jamie Vardy despite being part of the travelling contingent.

Diogo Jota raised to meet Salah's cross and headed home
Diogo Jota (third from left) raised to meet Salah’s cross and headed home
Reds' skipper Virgil van Dijk hoisted the SCST trophy
Reds’ skipper Virgil van Dijk hoisted the SCST trophy

At the end of the day, Darwin Nunez, Bobby Clark, Diogo Jota and Ben Doak put their name on the scoreboard and retained the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy.

“It was all good, we created great chances. In the first half, the high press worked pretty well in moments. The second half, we were a lot better with pressure on the ball. There were a lot of good moments, but we can still do better.” said Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp in his post-match assessment after the match.


It was a much better turnout when you had two clubs with illustrious European track records in the house on a Tuesday night at Kallang.

The meeting of two six-time European champions – FC Bayern München and Liverpool saw a turnout of close to 50,000 at the cornerstone of Singapore Sports Hub.

Gakpo opened the account in the second minute of the match
Gakpo opened the account in the second minute of the match

The Merseysiders wasted no time to show who was the boss when 24-year-old Dutch international Cody Gakpo triggered off a wild celebration in the second minute into the game with his strike in the box.

The newly-appointed Reds skipper Virgil Van Dijk doubled the tally with his header off Andy Robertson’s corner in the 28th minute.

But the Bavarians’ sheer determination ensured they remained in the game by levelling the scores before the interval via the efforts of Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané in the 33rd and 42nd minute respectively.

The Reds took the lead in the 66th when Luis Diaz made no mistake with his attempt that hit the bottom left corner.

Luis Diaz's (7) 66th goal regained the lead for the Reds
Luis Diaz’s (7) 66th goal regained the lead for the Reds
Kratzig (third from left) scored the winner for the Germans
Kratzig (third from left) scored the winner for the Germans

Just as the crowds thought the match was heading for penalties to decide the winners following Josip Stanisic’s equaliser in the 80th minute, Frans Kratzig came into the picture to prevent the nail-biter in the stoppage time with his audacious effort hit the roof past Liverpool’s ‘keeper Alisson Becker.

The 20-year-old defender’s performance was lauded by Thomas Tuchel, the manager of the reigning Bundesliga champions.

“He (Kratzig) did very well since day one on tour. Today, he finished a very spectacular attack and played a good match. I’m very happy, he’s a nice guy, he deserves it and now, we will try to improve him, to push him.” said Coach Tuchel in his post-match assessment of the match which was the last of the three-game series of the week-long SFOF that saw the participation of over 130,000 fans who were the National Stadium to witness the matches and also the two open training sessions conducted by both Tottenham and Liverpool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.