2007 Alam Shah-Inspired Singapore: Where are they now?
After picking up his first victory in 2004, Raddy Avramovic stuck with a largely similar squad, although this time around, they came into the tournament with the favourites tag unlike in 2004, when they were deemed as afterthoughts in pre-tournament predictions.
They certainly found the going tough in the group stages initially, with draws against Vietnam and Indonesia. A record 11-0 win over Laos, in which Noh Alam Shah scored an astonishing seven goals, ensured that they would top the group on goal difference.
Malaysia awaited them in the semi-finals and while both sides could not be separated over two legs, it was the Lions who held their nerves to clinch a spot in the final on penalties.
A 2-1 victory in the first leg over Thailand at home proved to be the difference in the end after the return leg ended 1-1, as Singapore tied the record for the most triumphs in the competition then.
So… where are these Singaporean heroes now?
Lewis came into the tournament as one of the best goalkeepers in Asia having been nominated for the 2006 Asian Player of the Year award, and ended the tournament with his reputation enhanced after several inspiring performances between the sticks, particularly in the second leg of the final against Thailand.
At the end of 2007, he was invited for trials with European clubs Manchester City and Grasshoppers Zurich, but did not manage to earn a contract, although he did impress the manager of the latter.
He continued turning out for the National Team until retiring from international football in 2011, earning a total of 73 caps, before giving up football completely a year later in 2012 at just 29, a decision that shocked many.
Nowadays, he can be found working at Nanyang Polytechnic.
Bennett was an integral part in the 2007 team, although it was at left-back where he was deployed mostly. However, following Aide Iskandar’s retirement in November 2007, he became the undisputed choice in the middle, partnering either Precious Emuejeraye or Baihakki Khaizan.
He would go on to represent Singapore until he was dropped by Bernd Stange in 2013, becoming Singapore’s most capped footballer.
At club level, he helped Warriors FC to four more league titles in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2014, the last of which he was captain, before joining Geylang International at the start of this year.
The 38-year-old showed that he still has what it takes by churning out impressive performances with the Eagles in the S.League and was duly rewarded with a recall to the national team by V. Sundramoorthy.
He has since added two caps to his name, taking his tally to 126, and is odds on to make the AFF Suzuki Squad in November.