Malaysia v Singapore rivalry to re-commence in October

Old foes Malaysia and Singapore will meet for the first time in almost two years when they come face-to-face at the Singapore National Stadium on October 7.

The two countries haven’t met on a football pitch since Malaysia’s 3-1 triumph in Singapore at the Suzuki Cup in November, 2014.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Wednesday evening that the latest Causeway Challenge will be held in Singapore, just weeks out from the 2016 Suzuki Cup.

The two countries have been drawn in separate groups for that tournament in the Philippines and Myanmar, with Singapore to face Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines in Group A.

The Tigers, meanwhile, will be facing Myanmar, Vietnam and a qualifier.

While the two countries are great rivals, the football associations on both sides also stressed the strong relationship between the near neighbours in a statement released on Wednesday evening.

Dato Hamidin bin Haji Mohd Amin, Football Association of Malaysia General Secretary, added: “We're very proud to play against Singapore as it would prepare our team, especially in the lead up to the Suzuki Cup.

“We look forward to giving our fans something to cheer about. We believe that our national team will put on a passionate performance and get a good result in Singapore.”

They were sentiments echoed by the FAS.

“Singapore and Malaysia enjoy strong bilateral relations and good cooperation in many areas, including sports,” FAS Vice-President Lim Kia Tong said.

“The beautiful game of football has been and will continue to be a very substantive platform in cementing this good cooperation.

“Football matches between both countries are always special for our fans and players.

“We are pleased to announce that the Causeway Challenge will be played at the new National Stadium for the first time.

“Let us turn up in red on October 7 to support our coach V. Sundramoorthy and to inspire and galvanise his boys with our Kallang Wave and Kallang Roar.”

The recent head-to-head clashes between the teams have been evenly fought, with both countries winning twice plus two draws from their past six meetings, dating back to 2011.

Lions vice-captain Hariss Harun is hoping for a big crowd at the Singapore Sports Hub.

“Both countries share a unique bond and deep historical ties and matches between Singapore and Malaysia have always attracted thousands of fans to the stadium,” said Harun, a key player with Malaysia Super League giants Johor Darul Ta’zim.

“Therefore, our Lions – including several who will be participating in their first Causeway Challenge – are looking forward with much excitement to the Singapore vs Malaysia match.

“Off the pitch, players from both sides of the Causeway are good friends, but we are professionals and will put friendship aside once the match kicks off.

“I am confident that we will put up a strong performance and we look forward to our fans turning the National Stadium into a sea of red on match day."

Tickets for the match will be available from from midday on September 1.