SOS Cup History: Dollah's passing, a 6-0 drubbing and Syazwan's heroics

Ahead of the 16th edition of the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup this Saturday, Kenneth Tan explores the rivalry and the history between the two teams in this unique fixture...

The rivalry

The Singapore-Selangor rivalry is one which has been well-documented over the past century with matches frequently played out between the two from 1921 to 1994. The first official match was the 1921 Malaya Cup final where Singapore defeated Selangor 2-1.

The two sides were forces to be reckoned with in Malaysian football, winning 71 major honours between them – 28 for Singapore and 43 for Selangor. Matches between the sides are massively competitive, with former Singapore captain Samad Allapitchay once admitting that their hatred for the opposition extended beyond the pitch. 

Famous Selangor players include Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Datuk Santokh Singh, Zainal Abidin Hassan, Dollah Salleh and the late Mokhtar Dahari, while the likes of Fandi Ahmad, V. Sundramoorthy, Malek Awab (and many more) flew the flag for Singapore.

The rivalry ended in 1994 when Singapore pulled out of all Malaysian competitions due to ticketing issues with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

Dollah was a part of this old rivalry

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) went on to start their own national league in 1996 and the S.League is currently into its 21th season.

At the end of 2011, it was announced Singapore would make a return to Malaysian football with a brand new team called the LionsXII. The LionsXII went on to win the 2013 Malaysia Super League and the 2015 Malaysia FA Cup, not too shabby for a club which was only just four years old.

But its involvement in all Malaysian competition finished at the end of the 2015 campaign. Still, there were plenty of matches that have stoked the rivalry between Singapore and Selangor.

The history

The Selangor Selection has come away with the Sultan of Selangor (SOS) Cup seven times, in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014, while the Singapore Selection were champions in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016.

The Sultan of Selangor's Cup was mooted and introduced by Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, with an aim to foster relations and renew the rivalry between the two sides.

It was initially named the Regent of Selangor’s Cup, with the first edition taking place in 2001 at Shah Alam Stadium, where the Veteran and Selection teams of both sides faced off.

A strong S.League Selection which included the likes of current Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang, Mirko Gravobac, Fandi and Nazri Nasir held the Selangor Selection to a 0-0 draw before falling 4-2 in the penalty shootout.

The Singapore veterans suffered the same fate after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

It was renamed the SOS Cup in 2003 when Selangor achieved the double again (The Selection team thumped the S.League All-Stars 4-1, while the veterans edged their Singapore counterparts 1-0). 

It was played in Singapore for the first time in the following year (2004) where both sides were declared joint champions (for the only time in SOS Cup history), after the S.League All-Stars and Selangor MPPJ played out a 2-2 draw at the old National Stadium.

However that was only one of three occasions (the other two being 2006 and 2009) where it was held in the city-state. Since 2010, the tournament had been held exclusively at Shah Alam Stadium, home of the Red Giants, although that is changing this year.

The 2015 edition was cancelled due to the haze, but Singapore managed to overcome the odds last year and end a five-year wait for the title

For the first time since it was opened, Singapore's new National Stadium will host the matches in 2017, which for the first time this year includes a curtain-raiser between Singapore Sports School and Selangor Combined Schools.

The Singapore Selection suffered three successive defeats from 2012 to 2014. The 2011 victory came where the Singapore national team, led by then-coach Raddy Avramovic, triumphed 1-0 courtesy of an Asraruddin Putra Omar own goal.

The 2015 edition was cancelled due to the haze, but Singapore managed to overcome the odds last year and end a five-year wait for the title.

The game ended 1-1 in regulation time after R.Gopinathan opened the scoring, but Stanely Ng managed to equalise for his 10-man squad. Philippe Aw’s men prevailed 4-3 in the shootout after Syazwan Buhari saved attempts by S. Subramaniam and Razman Roslan.

[UP NEXT: We recap some of the more memorable encounters]