Thought Malaysia face an uphill task when they take on southern neighbours Singapore in the return leg of the Asian Zone World Cup second round qualifying match tonight at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, local fans are in high spirits. They believe Malaysia can turn the tide against the Lions.
Like the aphorism that reads “the early bird catches the worm”, scores of fans were seen lining up at the stadium yesterday to get tickets for the match.
Malaysia go into the match with a two-goal deficit, having lost the first encounter 5-3. Fans who managed to get tickets were ecstatic and contrastingly those who did not went home disappointed as the tickets were sold out shortly before noon.
Traders around the stadium were laughing their way to the bank as they enjoyed brisk business. The fans also picked up the assortment of yellow and black football merchandise in support of the national team.
Public relations practitioner Ravind Ramesh, 34, who has been supporting the national team with friends on many occasions, said: “Sometimes there’s a big group but even if there are only two of us, we would go. We usually designate one person to buy the tickets.”
Ravind said he was expecting the Tigers to maul the Lions with a two-goal winning margin.
In Petaling Street, football fans were also seen snapping up football jerseys for the match.
Pos Malaysia worker Zarulnizam Ibrahim, 32, said he would be going with his colleagues.
“We’re bringing our children so we’re buying the jerseys for them as well,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur traffic police Asst Comm Rusli Mohd Noor said police officers will be there to control the traffic flow.
“We advise the public to take public transportation because there is limited parking spaces at the venue,” he said.
With a full capacity crowd expected tonight, RapidKL will be extending the operation hours of all its rail services.
The LRT Ampang Line, which runs directly to Bukit Jalil, will be extending its services until 12.30am while the operations of the LRT Kelana Jaya Line and the KL Monorail will be extended until 1am, said Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana).
The extension for the Kelana Jaya Line, however, is only for entry at Masjid Jamek while for KL Monorail, it would be for entrance at its Hang Tuah station, the statement said, adding that on normal operations, the rail services would conclude at 11.45pm.
In the statement, Prasarana, which is the umbrella company for RapidKL, also advised fans taking the trains to purchase return journey tickets to avoid long queues after the match.
“We will be opening special counters to sell return journey tickets from 3pm on Thursday at our interchange stations at Masjid Jamek, Hang Tuah and Bandar Tasek Selatan. We would also like to advise fans to be tolerant when queuing for train tickets and to take the trains in an orderly manner,” the statement added.