This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Aide Iskandar told his boys that when they pull on the national jersey and wear the national flag on their chests, they needed to play like there was no tomorrow.
Last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium, his Singapore Youth Selection matched the Liverpool under-19s stride for stride and, despite going down 1-0 in the semi-final of the four-team NexLions Cup, the future Lions were not disgraced.
From the opening hustings, it was clear the hosts, who will face Manchester United in the third-place play-off tomorrow, were not cowed by their vaunted English opponents and were determined to take advantage of their familiarity on the artificial surface and humidity.
Iqbal Hussain and Shahfiq Ghani made a menace of themselves, while Safirul Sulaiman showed the experience from his time in the LionsXII with pacey runs down the left flank, though he lacked the final delivery to make things count.
With the Singapore players not holding back in their tackles, frustrations surfaced as early as the 19th minute, when Liverpool forward Samed Yesil lashed out at Shakir Hamzah after he was felled.
Both escaped unpunished and Yesil exacted revenge less than 10 minutes later with a little moment of magic, backheeling the ball into goal after his captain Adam Morgan had tested the Singapore defence.
It turned out to be the only goal, which pleased the smattering of Liverpool fans among the 4,300 crowd.
Earlier, United saw their good work in the first half undone by a rampant Sporting Lisbon that came back from a goal down to put four past their English counterparts and book their place in tomorrow's final against Liverpool.
United went to the break a goal up from James Wilson's 38th-minute strike but Sporting captain Carlos Mane equalised early in the second half. The match turned following a missed penalty by United's Jack Barmby. The Portuguese side took full advantage, with a double strike from second half substitute Edelino Ie and an injury-time goal from Cristian Ponde.
"They got a big boost when we missed the penalty and that made the difference," said United coach Paul McGuinness. "That gave them more confidence and that's something youth players have to overcome."
Sporting manager Pedro Luz felt his team prevailed because his boys never stopped running.
"(For our club), it is important that the players play every minute to win the match. This is a great result for us," he said.
For Aide, the night belonged to his boys, who showed they had the ability to mix it with the 18-time English league champions' best youngsters.
"They rose to the occasion. It's good for the fans to see that we have a good bunch of young players and this is the future of the national team," said the former Singapore captain.
"I am very proud of the boys. We managed to compete with a very good side, with players who have tasted Premiership action, and now they know they are able to compete at the highest level."