Indonesia and Malaysia have played out a number of memorable games of football over the years. And we will witness a new chapter in their long rivalry when the two battle each other in the opener of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday.
The two nations have been pooled into Group G of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round along with Southeast Asian champions Vietnam, Thailand and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Two ASEAN nations with a rich history in the sport, Indonesia and Malaysia have met each other at the international level 95 times since 1957 with Timnas winning 39 of those games and Harimau Malaya triumphing in 35.
However, Malaysia’s record against Indonesia at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium which will host Thursday’s fixture isn’t very convincing. In 18 matches at the sprawling venue, the Malaysians have only recorded four wins while the hosts have tasted victory as many as 12 times.
Ahead of their all-important clash in the World Cup Qualifiers, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the five most recent meetings between two of ASEAN’s traditional rivals…
Malaysia 3-0 Indonesia – AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 – December 26, 2010
This match went down as one of the most important in Malaysia’s football history. Harimau Malaya were in the final of the AFF Championship for the first time since ending up as the losing side in the inaugural edition back in 1996 and a packed Bukit Jalil National Stadium (Official attendance: 98,543) welcomed the Tigers as they hosted the Eagles in the first leg of the final. After a cagey first half where chances were far and few between, the hosts took the lead in the 61st minute.
Norshahrul Idlan Talaha did all the hard work chasing down a ball to the byline and robbing the ball from the Indonesian defender before teeing it for Safee Sali to score. Mat Yo was the architect of the second goal as well when his cross deflected off an Indonesian defender and fell to Ashari Samsudin who found the back of the net in the 68th minute. A third came seven minutes later as Salee found his second of the night heading in Mahalli Jasuli’s cross. A 3-0 win in the first leg meant that K Rajagobal’s men had one hand on the elusive trophy…
Indonesia 2-1 Malaysia – AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 – December 29, 2010
But Alfred Riedl’s Indonesia were not ready to go down without a fight. The two sides went against each other three days later at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. And this time, it was the Indonesians who were buoyed by their vociferous support as they cheered their team to do the unthinkable and overcome a three-goal deficit. Indonesia needed an early goal and they almost had it when they were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute.
But Firman Utina’s weak penalty was saved by Khairul Fahmi. And the 88,000 in the stands were silenced soon after the restart when Malaysia’s Safee Sali scored to make it 4-0 on aggregate. Mohammad Nasuha made it 1-1 on the night 18 minutes from time before Muhammad Ridwan made it 2-1 to Indonesia in the dying minutes. However, that wasn’t enough to stop Malaysia on a historic night where they lifted their maiden AFF Suzuki Cup title — that too at the partisan environs of the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Malaysia 2-0 Indonesia – AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 – December 1, 2012
Malaysia’s latest win against the Indonesians came in the AFF Suzuki Cup back in 2012 when they defeated Timnas 2-0 in their final group match to book a place in the semifinals of the regional championship. Spurred on by their supporters, K Rajagobal’s defending champions took the lead at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur in the 27th minute when Mahalli Jasuli’s cross from the right was turned in by Azamuddin Akil.
Mahalli then made it 2-0 three minutes later when he beat Wahyu Nugroho at his near post with a fierce shot. The win meant that Harimau Malaya progressed to the knockout stages as Group B runners-up behind Singapore. However, their campaign would end in the last four where they lost to Thailand 3-1 on aggregate. Singapore were winners of the 2012 edition of ASEAN’s premier football competition defeating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate.
Indonesia 2-0 Malaysia – International Friendly – September 14, 2014
It was a closely-contested affair between Indonesia and Malaysia when the two sides met at the Gelora Delta Stadium in East Java for a friendly in September 2014. Malaysia, managed by Dollah Salleh, were unlucky not to go in front as Norshahrul Idlan Talaha hit the crossbar in the early minutes before Azamuddin Akil missed from point blank range.
After a goalless first half, disaster struck Malaysia as centre-back Muslim Ahmad turned the ball into his own net to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute. A second came two minutes from full time when Samsul Arif headed in from a cross supplied by substitute Tony Sucipto.
Indonesia 3-0 Malaysia – International Friendly – September 6, 2016
Another friendly in September and another win for Indonesia. The most recent meeting between the two nations took place at the Manahan Stadium in Solo back in 2016. And Malaysia had no idea what hit them as the home side scored three goals within 21 minutes from kick off! Alfred Riedl’s Indonesia took the lead as early as the sixth minute when Boaz Solossa took full advantage of a defensive mistake from Fadhli Shas and fired past Khairul Fahmi.
Boaz then turned provider five minutes later as Irfan Bachdim bulged the Malaysian net again. Bachdmin then returned the favour as Boaz found his second against Ong Kim Swee’s side and sealed the 3-0 result. The match also saw Malaysia’s Australian-born midfielder Brendan Gan tear ACL on his left knee, just months after recovering an ACL injury on his right knee. Interestingly, three years on, Gan is in line to make his return to international football on Thursday against the same opponents he played his last international against.