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Top 5: Singapore-Malaysia match-ups

Ahead of this week's Causeway Challenge at Singapore's National Stadium, FourFourTwo takes a look at some of the biggest Singapore-Malaysia matches in each of the past five decades...

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6 March 1977: Singapore 1-0 Malaysia

FIFA World Cup 1978 Asian Qualifying Group 3, Singapore

The odds were heavily stacked against Choo Seng Quee’s Singapore as the Lions took on their arch-rivals, who were then highly-regarded as an Asian force. They paid little heed to reputation as they upset the Harimau Malaya through a first-half Mohammad Noh penalty after Quah Kim Song was fouled by Yahya Jusoh inside the box. Showing tactical discipline to withstand the Malaysian pressure, they hung on to clinch their first competitive win against Malaysia since independence.

30 August 1989: Malaysia 3-1 Singapore

Southeast Asian Games 1989 Football Final, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

While the Malaysians were a pale shadow of the continental force they were in the 1970s, they boasted quality players to remain a threat in the region. They utilised their home advantage to hand Singapore a third football silver medal in that decade, with full-back Lim Teong Kim having a blinder in the final. His cross resulted in an own goal from Borhan Abu Samah early in the match and he scored the second to restore their lead after Fandi Ahmad equalised for the Lions. Dollah Salleh ensured there would be no fairy-tale comeback for the visitors with a third.

August 26, 1998: Malaysia 0-2 Singapore

AFF Tiger Cup Group B, Hanoi, Vietnam

Almost all Singapore fans will look back at this year with fond memories, as the Lions clinched their first-ever major international title.

After a disappointing outing at the 1996 Tiger Cup, nobody believed Singapore were capable of advancing out of the group stages, as they were placed alongside hosts Vietnam and the previous edition's runner-ups, Malaysia.

Midfielder Rafi Ali recalled there being almost no fanfare when the team left for Hanoi and that many had expected a swift return to Singapore for the Lions.

In the Group B opener however, the Lions didn't follow the script, as they matched the Malaysians stride for stride. Rafi played a starring role as he opened the scoring after 17 minutes while a young Ahmad Latiff doubled the advantage just before the break for Singapore to earn a 2-0 win.

It was a surprise victory, but an important one that gave Singaporeans the hope and belief that they could match the region's best. Singapore would go on to the final, where they beat Vietnam 1-0 to win the Tiger Cup.


A 2-0 win over Malaysia set Singapore on their way to a first-ever international title. Photo: WSG

18 December 2002: Singapore 0-4 Malaysia

AFF Tiger Cup 2002 Group B, Singapore

That fateful night marked one of the darkest moments in Singapore football as Malaysia scored four without reply in the opening match of the tournament to put Jan Poulsen on the brink of dismissal and send 55,000 fans into dismay and outrage. Akmal Rizal opened the scoring on the half hour before Indra Putra Mahayuddin netted a brace and Nizaruddin Yusof scored in the second half to ensure the Lions got off to the worst possible start in their AFF tournament history.

25 November 2012: Malaysia 0-3 Singapore

AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 Group B, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Revenge is a dish best served cold. A decade after that fateful 4-0 loss at home, Singapore ensured there was misery for the Harimau Malaya fans as they thumped their rivals, scoring three goals without reply to pave their way towards a historic fourth regional title. Shahril Ishak capitalised on some suspect goalkeeping from Khairul Fahmi to net a brace on either side of half-time with Aleksandar Duric coming off the bench to score a third.

and a bonus...

23 July 2011: Singapore 5-3 Malaysia

FIFA World Cup 2014 Asian Qualifying Round 2, First Leg, Singapore

With a place in the third round qualifying group stage at stake, the stage was set for one of the finest Causeway derby matches ever witnessed at Jalan Besar Stadium.

There were fears of a 2002 debacle repeat when Safee Sali scored just seconds after kickoff.

What eventuated was possibly the most inspired first-half ever witnessed in local football as Aleksandar Duric, Qiu Li, Fahrudin Mustafic and Shi Jiayi scored to put the Lions 4-1 ahead.

Although the Malaysians replied through Safee and Abdul Hadi Yahaya, Duric ensured the hosts would have a two-goal cushion at the final whistle.

Tickets for the Causeway Challenge are now on sale and start from just $18 per person or $8 for concessions. Head to to secure yours today!

Photo: Kamthorn Pornsakulpaisal