Etoile first foreign club to win Singapore S-League

SINGAPORE, Nov 11 (Reuters) - France's Etoile FC became the first foreign club to win Singapore's S-League football championship, clinching the 2010 title by a point on Wednesday.

The French side topped the table with 70 points from their 33 matches, ahead of Tampines Rovers on 69.

"It's much more difficult for a foreign team to win because most Singaporeans are against us," the Stars' captain Matthias Verschave said after the decisive 4-2 win over Japan's Albirex Niigata.

Their triumph completed a first-season double for Etoile who also won the League Cup earlier in the year.

"I feel like my stomach is only half-full because we didn't 'makan' (eat) the Singapore Cup," Stars' chairman Johan Gouttefangeas joked.

Etoile's triumph was welcomed in some surprising quarters.

"Having a foreign champion is a good wake-up call for all local clubs," coach of last year's champions SAFFC, told the Straits Times newspaper.