Football: Singapore and Malaysia to spar at National Stadium on Oct 7

Singapore and Malaysia will be playing at the National Stadium on Oct 7.
Singapore and Malaysia will be playing at the National Stadium on Oct 7.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - V. Sundramoorthy's Lions will take on arch-rivals Malaysia in the Causeway Challenge on home soil at the National Stadium on Oct 7, more than a month before the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup kicks off on Nov 19.

Played a day after his 51st birthday, this will be national caretaker coach Sundram's fourth international match in charge. His record currently stands at two losses (0-3 against Vietnam and 1-2 against Cambodia), and a 1-0 win over Myanmar.

Set to be their 65th clash,Malaysia hold the edge with 22 wins while Singapore have 19. The pair have drawn 23 times. The Lions' Fifa ranking is 159, eight places ahead of Malaysia (167).

The last time the two sides met was in 2014 during the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup. The Tigers beat the Lions 3-1 at the National Stadium and knocked the defending champions out of the tournament in the group stage.

Lions' vice-captain Hariss Harun said: "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.

"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."

Football Association of Malaysia general secretary Hamidin Amin saud: "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."

Ong Kim Swee's men will have to do without the services of the 2014 Suzuki Cup top scorer Safiq Rahim, who quit the national team in July, along with his Johor Darul Takzim teammates Aidil Zafuan, Amirulhadi Zainal and S. Kunanlan as they prepare for the biennial regional tournament.

Singapore are drawn in Group A of the AFF Cup alongside co-hosts Philippines, defending champion Thailand and Indonesia. Malaysia are in Group B alongside co-hosts Myanmar, Vietnam and the winner of a qualifying tournament.

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