Ahead of the 17th edition of the Sultan of Selangor’s (SOS) Cup at Shah Alam this weekend, FOX Sports Asia pick out five Malaysian veterans who could trouble their Singaporean counterparts…
Dato Soh Chin Aun (Defender, Nickname: Towkay) – One of the most well-respected figures in the Malaysian football fraternity, Dato Soh made history in 1971 by becoming the youngest player to turn out for the national team then at the age of 21. The uncanny ability to produce timely interceptions alongside Santokh Singh at the heart of defence earned him the nickname of ‘Towkay’.
He wrote himself into Malaysian football folklore by leading the team that qualified for the 1980 Olympic Games – which is known as the country’s greatest-ever side. Now 68, Dato Soh is still a competitive battler on the field.
Shahrin Majid (Midfielder) – While he did not have an illustrious career like some of his counterparts, Shahrin was nonetheless a neat and skilful midfielder who made his mark for Selangor in the 1990s before retiring in the 2000s.
The 48-year-old has lost none of the skills that once helped him pay the bills even after hanging up his boots. In the last SOS Cup held at Shah Alam two years ago, he produced an audacious moment to deceive Singapore keeper Shahri Rahim before netting the opener – setting the Malaysian veterans on their way to a 2-0 victory over their Singaporean counterparts.
Azman Adnan (Forward) – Once described as the next Mokhtar Dahari in Malaysian football, Azman was well-known for his prolific scoring ways back in the 1990s. He recorded 49 goals in 75 appearances for the Tigers from 1991 to 2000.
Veteran Singapore football followers would not have fond memories of the 46-year-old, who scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over Singapore in the 2000 Tiger Cup (now AFF Suzuki Cup) group stages – knocking the then-holders out of the competition in the process.
Zainal Abidin Hassan (Forward) – Widely viewed as the best Malaysian footballer in the 80s and 90s, Zainal Abidin struck a telepathic understanding with Dollah Salleh in their playing days as they delivered success for club and country.
With 78 goals in 138 international appearances, the 56-year-old was part of the Malaysia side that won the SEA Games on home soil in 1989 – their first success in the event for 10 years. One of his finest achievements for the country came in 1996 when he was on the cusp of hanging up his boots. At the age of 35, he helped his side to reach the final of the inaugural ASEAN Football Championship (now AFF Suzuki Cup) in Singapore and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament.
Dollah Salleh (Forward) – With 48 goals in 97 caps, Dollah was another outstanding forward that Malaysia had back in the 80s and 90s. It was his decisive third goal in the 1989 SEA Games final that helped Malaysia win the game 3-1 and denied Singapore their first-ever gold medal in the football competition.
Linking up with good friend Zainal Abidin and legendary Singaporean forward Fandi Ahmad, the 54-year-old was part of the Pahang FA team that won the Malaysia League and Cup double in 1992. Moving on to coaching after retiring, he continued to be the scourge of Singapore as he led Malaysia to a famous 3-1 win at Kallang to knock the Lions out of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup in the group stages.