When Singapore took on Guam in a Fifa World Cup qualifier on October 12, the 2-1 victory was secured largely in part to the Lions on the field.
But with over 10,000 fans at the National Stadium, the fans had also a part to play in giving Singapore a slight advantage over Guam ahead of their second-leg match on October 17.
And part of the crowd was the largest-ever gathering of Team Nila volunteers for a football match.
Over 1,000 Team Nila volunteers join Singapore national football team fan group SingaBrigade to lead the cheers during the Singapore-Guam Fifa World Cup qualifiers. Photo by Team Nila.
Spearheaded by Sport Singapore, Team Nila is the national sport volunteerism movement that promotes the culture of giving, citizenship partnership and social cohesion through sport.
Team Nila volunteers are omnipresent at both local and overseas sporting events including the SEA Games, performing roles such as supporters, ushers, photographers and at the National Stadium recently, die-hard fans of the Lions.
Decked in their signature purple and armed with clappers, the unmistakable roar of over 1,000 Team Nila volunteers spurred the Lions. With Singapore national team fans group SingaBrigade leading the way, the combined supporter group belted out cheers and songs, rallying fellow Singaporeans to show their support for the national team.
Photo by Team Nila, Anbumani Arivalagon.
Team Nila sport supporters joined fans in chants, cheers and songs and even performed the Kallang Wave! Photo by Team Nila, Khoo Yu.
Ms Stefanie Ang, Division Head of Team Nila was especially proud that so many sport volunteers had turned up to the game.
She said: "Team Nila is honoured to stand alongside fellow Singaporeans and cheer for our Lions. By coming together to support our football team, we are building a stronger sense of belonging and together, we raise the Singapore Spirit through sport.
"We are proud to support the Lions and we hope that Team Nila has contributed a little to the Lions’ success against Guam. Our Team Nila volunteers cheered as one voice. We showed that sport can bring Singaporeans together, building a stronger and more united community with every cheer."
Also cheering the Lions on were the next generation of Singapore national team hopefuls.
Over 1,000 children, their parents and coaches from the ActiveSG Football Academy (AFA), School Football Academies (SFA), Junior National Development Centres (JNDC), and National Development Centres (NDC) were also present to lend the voices.
Fans also belted out a heartfelt rendition of Majulah Singapura as Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam graced the match. Photo by Team Nila, Anbumani Arivalagon.
Said Mr Sam Cheong, 61, a Team Nila leader: "As we cheer for the success of our Lions, we are reminded of the power of teamwork and the importance of supporting each other as a community. I am so proud to be here today with Team Nila and to get behind the Lions.”
Added Mr Salim Suri, 71, a Team Nila volunteer: "Cheering for our Lions is not just about football, it's about our shared identity as Singaporeans. Let's continue to support our Lions and each other, both on and off the field. Win or lose, we must stand behind our Lions.”
Also part of the Team Nila group was an American. Mr Javier Granados, 51, and family were in the stands cheering for the Lions.
A passionate football fan and Team Nila volunteer from the United States, Mr Granados said: “Football has a unique ability to bring people together. I reside in Singapore with my family, so naturally I would love for the Lions to win and advance. My family enjoyed the game experience and we look forward to attending more games, cheering and supporting the Lions.”
The support of the fans does not go unnoticed.
Said Lions goalkeeper Hassan Sunny: "It was great to see so many fans at the National Stadium to support us, including Team Nila lending their voice. It really made a difference on the night.
"On behalf of the Lions, I would like to thank all the fans for their support. We look forward to seeing you at the next match and can't wait to hear Kallang roar again!"
Should Singapore come out on top of the two-legged qualifier against Guam, Thailand, China and Asian giants South Korea await them in the Group Stages. The matches serve as qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup 2026 and the AFC Asian Cup 2027. The group stages will kick off in November.
Keen to know more about how you can be a Team Nila volunteer? You can read more about Team Nila and sign up here: https://www.activesgcircle.gov.sg/team-nila/about