It's the meeting between the one-time champions in Malaysia against the five-time champions in Thailand in a mouth watering clash at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in the first leg of the 2018 edition of the AFF Championship.
But this will not be the first time the two teams have met at this stage of the competition. Twice before have the Harimau Malaya and The War Elephants met in the last four of this biannual regional competition, in 2000 when it was still known as the Tiger Cup and 2012, one edition after Malaysia lifted the coveted trophy.
Back in 2000, the competition was still held in only one host country and the knockout stage was a single-match format. Playing at home, Thailand overwhelmed Malaysia to 2-0 to go on and lift the trophy that year.
The latest meeting six years ago saw K. Rajagopal leading his reigning champions into battle and like it will be this year, the first leg was held in Kuala Lumpur. It was 1-1 at the same venue with Norshahrul Idlan Talaha getting on the scoresheet only to find Teerasil Dangda grabbing a late equaliser for the visitors with 12 minutes left on the clock.
In the second leg, Malaysia held on for large parts of the match and perhaps could have gotten a result had Fadhli Shas not been sent off for two bookable offences. Malaysia eventually succumbed to quickfire strikes from the Thais with Teerasil and Theerathon Bunmathan scoring in a space of five minutes after the hour mark to clinch a place in the 2012 final for Thailand.
Malaysian fans will surely be hoping that three times' the charm when the two teams take to the field this coming weekend to meet for the third time in the semi-final of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
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