Pan Gon remains optimistic about Malaysia producing miracle

KUALA LUMPUR: National football team head coach Kim Pan Gon insisted that Malaysia still harbours a chance to achieve a miraculous qualification for the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers and secure an early ticket to the 2027 Asian Cup.

The 55-year-old South Korean coach expressed his confidence in his team's ability to make an impact when they take on the bottom side Taiwan in their last Group D match of the second round of the 2026 World Cup/ 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers in National Stadium, Bukit Jalil here, next Tuesday.

"At home, we have an advantage, it's not easy for another team to come here (Bukit Jalil). Your team (Kyrgyzstan) conceded four goals, remember? So, we believe we can make something happen. Who knows? Until the end, we will fight. That's important.

"We are strong at home, so I think we can expect something. We could make something happen. If we score more than seven and you (Kyrgyzstan) lose 2-0 (against Oman), it will be us who advance. At home, we have the home advantage and will fight until the end," he said.

He said this in a post-match press conference after Malaysia drew a 1-1 against Kyrgyzstan in their Group D match of the second round of the 2026 World Cup/ 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek, last night.

Commenting further, Pan Gon said the substitutions and tactical changes in the last 10 minutes of the match against Kyrgyzstan was aimed at avoiding the risk of losing at the last minute.

The draw has impacted Harimau Malaya's mission to create history by advancing to the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers and securing an early ticket to the Asian Cup.

Malaysia now in third place in Group D with seven points - three points behind second-placed Kyrgyzstan, who also have a goal difference advantage going into the final match while Oman tops the group with 12 points and qualified for the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.

In the final group matches, Malaysia, who have a minus two (-2) goal difference, will entertain Taiwan while Kyrgyzstan, with a +6 goal difference, will travel to Muscat to face Oman.

Should the team fail to advance to the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers, Malaysia will also miss out on an automatic spot in the 2027 Asian Cup Finals.

That means Malaysia will have to compete in the third round of the 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers for a chance to make their second consecutive appearance in the tournament.– BERNAMA

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories