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Causeway derby beckons for Singapore at 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup

Causeway derby beckons for Singapore at 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup

Cesare Polenghi

The three-time Champions look to be in for a tough time as they end up in a Group of Death with Malaysia and Indonesia in this year’s edition of the regional championship

The 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup draw threw up a nightmare path for former champions Singapore, being grouped with heated rivals Malaysia and regional powerhouse Indonesia. Rounding up the four-team Group B will be the second best-placed team from the qualifiers.

Singapore and Malaysia played out a largely one-sided two-leg friendly affair only earlier in June with the Tigers claiming a decisive 2-0 victory in Kuala Lumpur after an entertaining draw at Jalan Besar Stadium in the first leg.

Malaysia, incidentally, are also the defending champions and in being grouped with Indonesia, it will mark the first time in the competition’s history that the two finalists from the previous edition will face each other before the knockout stages.

The draw for this year’s AFF Cup was held in Bangkok, Thailand at the Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel in front of a packed room of dignitaries and media, including several members of Goal.com’s South East Asian team.

The first stage of the draw was to determine the fixtures for the qualifying stages which will be held from October 5 to 13. The five teams entered in to the draw were Myanmar, Timor Leste, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia with all matches being staged in Yangon’s Youth Training Centre, in a single round-robin group format that will see the two top placed teams progressing to the main competition.

Singapore and Philippines were placed in Pot 3 in a new seeding format derived from the performances of the teams at the previous two editions of the competition. The semi-final defeat to Vietnam in 2008 and shock group stage exit in 2010 worked in Singapore’s disfavour as the record title holders were ranked joint fourth with Thailand.

Pot 1, meanwhile, was reserved for hosts Indonesia and Malaysia, and Vietnam, as the top ranked team, together with Indonesia, were placed in Pot 2.

With the hosts only being drawn last, there was a collective cheer from the predominantly Thai media present after the former champions were placed in Group A, the perceivably easier group featuring Vietnam, Philippines and the top placed qualifier.

Singapore will open their campaign on the second day of competition on November 25 against Malaysia. The two-legged final will take place on December 19 and 22.

Fans can look forward to unrivalled in-depth coverage of the competition on Goal.com Singapore.

 

Qualifying Round
5 Oct         Cambodia    vs    Timor Leste     
5 Oct         Myanmar    vs    Brunei     
7 Oct         Timor Leste     vs    Myanmar     
7 Oct         Laos     vs    Cambodia     
9 Oct         Cambodia     vs    Brunei     
9 Oct         Timor Leste     vs    Laos     
11 Oct        Brunei     vs    Laos     
11 Oct        Myanmar     vs    Cambodia     
13 Oct        Laos     vs    Myanmar     
13 Oct        Brunei     vs    Timor Leste

Group Stages
24 Nov Vietnam     vs     Qualifiers - Winners    
24 Nov Thailand     vs     Philippines    
25 Nov Indonesia     vs     Qualifiers - Runners-up    
25 Nov Malaysia     vs     Singapore    
27 Nov Vietnam     vs     Philippines    
27 Nov Qualifiers - Winners     vs     Thailand    
28 Nov Indonesia     vs     Singapore    
28 Nov Qualifiers - Runners-up     vs     Malaysia    
30 Nov Philippines     vs     Qualifiers - Winners    
30 Nov Thailand     vs     Vietnam    
1 Dec Singapore     vs     Qualifiers - Runners-up    
1 Dec Malaysia     vs     Indonesia

Semi-finals
8 Dec     SF1
Lg1                 Runners-up A     vs     Winner B    
9 Dec     SF2
Lg1                 Runners-up B     vs     Winner A    
12 Dec     SF1
Lg2                 Winner B     vs     Runners-up A    
13 Dec     SF2
Lg2                 Winner A     vs     Runners-up B

Final
19 Dec     Final
Lg1                     Winner SF1     vs     Winner SF2    
22 Dec     Final
Lg2                   Winner SF2     vs     Winner SF1    

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