While it is well known that Thailand have won more AFF Suzuki Cups than any other team and Indonesia have failed to win a final in five attempts, there are plenty other stats and stories that go somewhat under the radar.

We’ve delved into the archives to seek out six interesting facts from over the years so fans across the region can brush up on their Suzuki Cup knowledge ahead of next week’s qualifying play-off between Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste – two sides that have appeared just one time apiece.

First of many

K. Sanbagaraman opened the AFF Championship floodgates when the Malaysian scored the competition’s first ever goal to give his side the lead in the 76th minute against hosts Singapore on September 1, 1996.

But the nearly 44,000 spectators in attendance left with smiles on their faces after Fandi Ahmad levelled with just a minute to play to secure a 1-1 draw. Singapore would eventually exit at the group stage, though, while Malaysia advanced to the semi-finals.

Goals galore

Amazingly, the inaugural tournament remains the only one in which there hasn’t been a scoreless draw. Indeed, no crowd waited longer than the 75 minutes that past in the competition opener to see the deadlock broken.

The first ever 0-0 draw came in 1998 in the group stage game between Malaysia and Laos in Hanoi and was promptly followed by another on the same day in the same stadium between Vietnam and Singapore. The four goalless stalemates in 2007 remains a tournament high.

Fantastic feat

Staying in 2007, Noh Alam Shah entered the record books for scoring a record seven in one game against Laos and a tournament high of 10. However, perhaps more interestingly, not a single team outdid the Singaporean’s tally.

Runners-up Thailand and semi-finalists Vietnam came closest by also netting 10, while Malaysia and Indonesia registered six. The Philippines, meanwhile, could have done with Alam Shah in their frontline, after the Azkals exited without a single goal to their name.

African representative

While coaches from all over the world have helmed in the competition, most notably Serbia’s Raddy Avramovic and England’s Peter Withe, with the former winning three titles with Singapore and the latter two with Thailand, only one man from Africa has taken charge in the tournament.

Back in 1998, Hatem Souissi was the man charged with steering Malaysia to glory, although it didn’t go to plan for the Tunisian. A 2-0 defeat by Singapore was followed with a goalless draw against Laos and a 1-0 loss to Vietnam as the Harimau Malaya exited without so much as a goal.

Man of many

Avramovic and Withe are two of the most successful coaches in the tournament – Kiatisuk Senamuang ranks alongside the Englishman with two titles – but only one coach has taken charge of three sides.

In 1996, David Booth was the Brunei Darussalam coach for their first and, to date, only appearance, before the Englishman took charge of Myanmar’s 2000 and 2002 campaigns. Completing the treble, Booth helmed Laos at the 2010 Suzuki Cup, where they claimed a famous 2-2 draw with Thailand.

Home heroes

Thailand have proved almost infallible in front of their own fans over the years, having incredibly lost just once in 24 games. The War Elephants’ first home game in the tournament was a 3-1 win over Myanmar in the northern city of Chiang Mai, while they also played on the island of Phuket in 2000.

But Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium is where the Thais have played most of their home games, winning finals in 2000, 2014 and 2016. It is also where they lost for the only time in Thailand, in the first leg of the 2008 final when Le Cong Vinh scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory for Vietnam.