KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 ― Harimau Malaya head coach Kim Pan Gon has described Malaysia’s failure to score as many goals as they had hoped for against Taiwan as “agonising”, more so since that was what they needed to do to advance to the third round of the World Cup 2026/Asian Cup 2027 Qualifiers.

He, however, praised his men’s strong mentality when they came back from going a goal down to score three times after the break to win 3-1 against Taiwan in their final Group D match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.

“Yes, we came into this match with a mission to score a lot of goals but we didn’t make it. It’s very painful, too many technical mistakes in the first half and we gave them a one-goal lead.

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“But, in the second half, we turned it around. So, I can say the mental strength of the squad is very positive,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Malaysia are now third in the group with 10 points, the same as second-placed Kyrgyzstan. Oman lead the group with 12 points while Taiwan are bottom of the group with no points.

Taiwan coach Gary White, meanwhile, described the defeat by Malaysia as a useful lesson for his team, comprising mainly young players.

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“All of them are crying right now because we lost... but they need to feel it because its a process that they need to learn from the defeat of this match,” he said. ― Bernama