The annual Sultan of Selangor's (SOS) Cup will return to Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia on Aug. 25 after the 2017 edition was held at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Last May, the Singapore Selection, coached by Fandi Ahmad, prevailed 3-2 over their Selangor counterparts to equal the latter's record of victories (seven).
They weathered a late onslaught, with Selangor pulling two back through Safee Sali and Gonzalo Soto after going 3-0 up through goals from Khairul Nizam, Shakir Hamzah and Faris Ramli.
The Selangor Selection will surely be gunning for revenge, with their last victory coming in 2014.
The SOS Cup made its debut in 2001 with the aim of of reviving the rivalry between Singapore and Selangor from the glory days of the Malaysia Cup. It remains a highly competitive affair, despite being a friendly in name.
Of course, it is not just about the main event between the two selection teams, with another two matches scheduled to take place.
The Singapore-Selangor Schools Challenge Cup, which was introduced last year, will be played in Selangor for the first time. The last time out, the under-16 boys of the Singapore Sports School edged a Selangor Combined Schools Team 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
The match will be played before the traditional curtain-raiser between the Singapore veterans and Selangor veterans, where fans get to see their old idols in action again. In 2017, the two sides were crowned joint winners after a goalless draw.
FAS vice-president Teo Hock Seng is pleased to see the SOS Cup going strong into its 17th edition.
"The Sultan of Selangor's Cup has become a permanent fixture in our Singapore football calendar and it's an event that many of our fans look forward to every year," said the 71-year-old, who is also the competition's co-chairman.
"With our focus on youth in domestic football, I'm excited to see new talents emerge in this match steeped in history and sporting rivalry."
Meanwhile SOS Cup chairman Tan Sri Abd Karim Munisar is hopeful of another bumper edition back at the Shah Alam Stadium, the venue for the 2010 to 2016 edition.
"The event will be held in a carnival atmosphere," he told The New Straits Times. "There will be activities for fans who come from all races and all walks of life. More than 70,000 fans have filled the stadiums in every edition."