No joy for S’pore at Tiger Street Football

Touch 'N' Go in action at Tiger Street Football grand finals in Ho Chi Minh. (Photo courtesy of Tiger Beer)Touch 'N' Go in action at Tiger Street Football grand finals in Ho Chi Minh. (Photo courtesy of Tiger Beer)

Team Floripa from Brazil are crowned Tiger Street Football champions for the second year running on Saturday while Singapore's Touch 'N' Go crashed out in the group stages.

The Grand Finals took place in Ho Chi Minh where 10 of the best street football teams from host country Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, China as well as Brazil and Argentina battled it out for the right to be called 'Tiger's Kings of the Streets'.

Singapore champions Touch 'N' Go failed to make it through to the semi-finals after losing all but one of their four group stage matches.

But the experience of competing with the best street football teams has been invaluable to the Singaporean side.

Captain Mahmod Hashim, 29, told Yahoo! Singapore, "This has been a great learning experience for us although we are disappointed not to have reached the semi-finals.

"It's tough playing against these teams as they are physically and technically really good. But we tried our best and I can say we have done Singapore proud in the tournament," he added.

The 8000-strong home crowd were denied a Vietnam-Brazil final after Malaysia's Equal FC came from 1-4 down to beat Vietnamese team Dat Vinh Tien 5-4 in the semi-final while Team Floripa saw off Team Futsar from Argentina 3-2 to book a place in the final.

The Brazilians proved too strong for the Malaysian side as they romped to a 7-2 victory and the title, which came with the top money prize of USD $30,000.

Team Floripa from Brazil crowned 2012 Tiger Street Football champions. (Photo courtesy of Tiger Beer)Team Floripa from Brazil crowned 2012 Tiger Street Football champions. (Photo courtesy of Tiger Beer)

Team Floripa's Fabio Vicente said after the final, "It's been an amazing tournament for us and the fans here who have been fantastic. This means a lot to us as we have trained really hard for this."

Tiger Street Football ambassador Edgar Davids was impressed with the Asian teams, although he believes there is still a long way before they can reach the level of their European counterparts.

The former Juventus and Holland legend told Yahoo! Singapore, "I've been really impressed with the Asian teams in the finals, who have actually shown better skills than the Brazilians and the Argentineans.

"But their technical abilities are still not up to mark and it will take some time before they can match up with the Europeans.

"I hope this tournament will ignite the passion for street football in this region," he added.

Looking forward to next year's edition of Tiger Street Football, Edmond Neo, Director, Group Commercial, Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd, revealed, "Tiger Beer will bring even more exciting street football action in 2013.

"We are upping the ante with more international teams to challenge our local talent and to keep the standard of play exceptional.

"2013 will see Australia, Cambodia and Mongolia being added to our list of host cities, so we expect the competition to be even more exciting!"