'Miracle man' Pan Gon eyes World Cup qualifying breakthrough

DOHA: "I'm ready to go out (leave) and this is my last suit."

National coach Kim Pan Gon jokingly uttered these words when asked why he donned a grey suit instead of the traditional black-white one for the Asian Cup Group E match against South Korea at the Al Janoub Stadium on Thursday.

In a thrilling match on Thursday, World No. 130 Malaysia drew 3-3 with No. 23 South Korea, thanks to Romel Morales' stoppage-time goal.

During the press conference after the final whistle, an emotional Pan Gon lashed out at selected media, claiming they were waiting for him to fail.

"I know in the last two years, we've done a fantastic job. We had recorded 4-0, 5-0, 10-0 results, and I know you are waiting for me to fall.

"You wait around, and I know that. I am ready. No problem," said Pan Gon.

However, the 54-year-old is now dubbed Malaysia's "miracle man" after the draw against Korea. Malaysia now aim to dream big—the ultimate goal is the 2026 World Cup.

"We want to reach the top 18 --- the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, (and if it happens), it would be a new record for Malaysian football. "Everybody needs to support and prepare well for our World Cup qualifying matches in March and June," said Pan Gon.

"There are plenty of hurdles. I do get a picture of it, and it is tough with our M-League starting in May.

"We have many things to overcome for the March and June qualification."

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories