The British Army provided the opposition at Merdeka Stadium, with the Malaysia XI side running out 4-3 winners.
From then on, the side has been involved in a number of high-profile invitational friendlies, often competing against teams from Europe during the close-season period.
The first English domestic side they encountered was Everton – the Toffees claiming a 1-0 win at Perak Stadium in May, 1974.
They then returned to Merdeka Stadium the following May to take on Arsenal, winning 2-0, with legendary former striker Mokhtar Dahari – widely recognised as one of the best players in Asia in the 1970s – on the scoresheet.
The two sides met again two days later at City Stadium (Penang) – this time honours ending even at 1-1 with front man Isa Bakar on target for the Malaysia XI.
The team’s fortunes on the pitch suffered in the 1980s as they slipped to losses against Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United (twice) and Everton – the latter match being decided by a penalty shootout after the game ended without score.
Aston Villa were the first English team to take on the XI in the 1990s, the Villans winning 4-0 on May 20, 1991, before the team made its debut at Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor – the venue for our forthcoming friendly – on May 7, 1995, with a 1-1 draw against a Flamengo XI from Brazil.
Over the following decade, the side hosted a string of English teams at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Norwich City and Chelsea – also taking on the Blues at Shah Alam Stadium in July, 2008.
Their biggest ever win was achieved in July, 2012, when they thrashed Indonesia ‘B’ 6-0 in Jakarta. Later that month, the Malaysia XI lost 3-1 to Manchester City.
The team played six games over the summer of 2013, beginning with a goalless draw with Thai side Chonburi and ending with a 3-1 defeat to Spanish giants Barcelona at Shah Alam Stadium.
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