Malaysia coach Pan Gon must plot against his own country

KUALA LUMPUR: National men's football team coach Kim Pan Gon will have to plot against his own country after the Asian Cup draw was made in Doha, Qatar, today.

The 24-team Asian Cup finals will be held in January in Doha.

Korean Pan Gon, who took charge of Harimau Malaya early last year, found himself in this awkward situation after Malaysia were drawn with South Korea, Jordan and Bahrain in Group E of the Asian Cup.

And Pan Gon, 54, was formerly the Korea FA vice-president before he resigned to come to Malaysia.

Under the Korean, Malaysia, for the first time in 43 years, qualified for the Asian Cup.

Pan Gon said South Korea are one of the best teams in the group, but Malaysia will try to compete with them.

Malaysia are the lowest ranked team in the group at world No. 138. The highest ranked are world No 27 South Korea followed by Jordan (84th) and Bahrain (85th).

Malaysia lost 4-0 to South Korea at the 2002 Asian Games. But in the 1995 Merdeka Tournament, Malaysia edged South Korea 2-1.

The last time Malaysia played Bahrain was in an Asian Cup qualifier in June last year. Malaysia lost that match 2-1.

Malaysia's last meeting with Jordan was in 2021 which ended in a 4-0 defeat for the former.

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