Pan Gon says he is in pain, but defends his tactics

KUALA LUMPUR: Coach Kim Pan Gon defended his ineffective strategy in Malaysia's 2-0 loss to Oman in a World Cup qualifier at Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.

A mediocre Malaysian side struggled throughout the match as a dominant Oman scored a goal in each half through Omer Al Malki (45th+5) and Mohamed Mubarak Al Ghafri (90th+4).

The Malaysian team threw everything at Oman but just could not beat the 1.88m goalkeeper Ibrahim Al-Mukhaini.

Pan Gon, 54, did not seem happy when Timesport asked at a post-match press conference about his tactic of crossing high balls into the Omani box, which ultimately proved ineffective.

The South Korean coach said he was in pain due to the disappointing result.

He said the players should not be blamed for the second loss to Oman (Malaysia also lost 2-0 in the first leg in Muscat) in as many weeks, and he accepts full responsibility for the disappointing results.

"You can talk about 100 things. In football, you don't know how players work.

"It was a home game, we wanted to hit Oman. The result is secondary, in front of our supporters we should attack.

"I'm more afraid if we lose our character. I took a risk, I took out a defender to put a man up front in that circumstance.

"We could give up high pressing to play for a draw, we did it in the away game against Oman.

"In front of our own fans, we wanted to make them proud. We planned and designed (the strategy) but it didn't work.

"How we are provided the players... how many months that we were given. The players are not machines.

"I'm in pain, we are forced to be in this position," said Pan Gon.

The defeat left world No.132 Malaysia third in Group D with six points while Kyrgyzstan lead with nine points after beating Taiwan 5-1 on Tuesday, World No. 80 Oman are second with nine points and Taiwan are last.

Malaysia will complete their group campaign against world No. 104 Kyrgyzstan and No. 153 Taiwan in June.

Pan Gon admitted that Malaysia need a miracle to reach the 2026 World Cup.

"We still have two more games, we still have a chance but we need a miracle. We won't give up and we'll fight until the end. This is not the end of the world.

"We need to keep moving forward. Two years ago we were No.154 in the world and now we are No.132," he said.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories