In 18 months’ time it will be 100 years since the causeway linking southern Malaysia with Singapore was finally opened.

The ambitious project took five years to complete and cost several million dollars and meant that travel between Johor Bahru and Woodlands could now be completed by land and rail rather than by boat as had previously been the case.

Not only did it lead to a flourishing of trade and movement it also eventually gave rise to the name of the footballing rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia.

Indeed, so widespread is the term that it’s now used to denote any form of sporting rivalry between the two nations and, fortunately for lovers of Southeast Asian football, we’ll again get to witness the Causeway Derby in the upcoming AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 when the sides face off in Group B at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on January 3.

Here are five things to know about this historic rivalry between Malaysia and Singapore.


  • Whilst an earlier friendly match (that Singapore won 4-2 at home) was played in 1948 the first recorded, competitive, clash between the two teams came back in 1958 at the Merdeka Tournament which ended as a scoreless draw.


  • The first clash between Malaysia and post-independence Singapore came in March, 1967 at an Asian Cup qualification match in Hong Kong that ended as a 1-1 draw with the two nations finishing last and second last in the five-team group.


  • Singapore and Malaysia had the honour of being the first-ever match played in the AFF Championships. That came on September 1, 1996, in the inaugural edition at the old National Stadium in Kallang and ended 1-1 with the goalscorers being the legendary Fandi Ahmad for Singapore and K. Sanbagamaran for Malaysia.


  • Overall, the Causeway Derby has been played eight times in the AFF Championship, with things delicately poised with three wins apiece and two draws. The last meeting was way back in the 2014 stage, with Malaysia winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Safi Salee, Safiq Rahim and Indra Putra, with Khairul Amri on the scoresheet for Singapore.


  • The top scorer in the Causeway Derby at the AFF Championships is Singapore’s Shahril Ishak with two goals so that honour could be broken if we see a hat-trick in the Group B clash in Kuala Lumpur as 2023 kicks off with a bang in the Malaysian captial. 

Poll will end on Sunday, December 11 at 18:00 SGT