Our game against Brunei could have been better: Pan Gon

Our game against Brunei could have been better: Pan Gon

The Harimau Malaya’s performance against Brunei in the Tier 1 international friendly match could have been better despite thumping the opponents 4-0 at the Bukit Jali National Stadium last night, said head coach Kim Pan Gon.

He said that he noticed that there were times that his charges lost their rhythm in the match against Brunei, ranked much lower than Malaysia, who are currently in 154th place in FIFA ranking.

“Our game could have been better, I don’t count how many goals we score but overall we could have done better.

“There must be a rhythm throughout the match, as you can see in high-level football they don’t stop the rhythm too much, I cannot say I am not happy but I am trying to understand why our players lost their rhythm at times,” he told the post-match press conference.

However, the South Korean stressed that he was not complaining about his players’ performance as he believed that they have already given their best against the team who are ranked 191st in the world.

In fact, Pan Gon felt that his players might require more time to adapt to the new approach that he wanted to see on the pitch and lauded their effort to give 100 per cent commitment during training sessions.

The 53-year-old coach also said that Malaysia would be playing much better if they take on a much stronger side and believed that the national team will deliver a good performance in their upcoming friendly match, against his former team, Hong Kong on June 1.

In the meantime, Pan Gon urged all fans as well as the media to keep giving strong support and not just to launch ‘attacks’ on the players should they commit any mistakes.

“You may be angry or disappointed but we are trying our best to make you proud by giving better performance and not negative football. If they (team) cry, we cry, we must fully support the players,” he added.

Meanwhile, he was very pleased to see the support from Malaysian fans who were present at the stadium to watch his first-ever match since he took charge as the national squad last February, especially the ‘Ultras Malaya’ (hardcore fans), as they kept chanting to raise the spirit for his players throughout the match.

Apart from having to do without some key players against Malaysia, Brunei coach Rosanan Samak also admitted that his players were not fully fit as they face constraints to get game minutes due to their football league still under a halt as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Harimau Malaya will play their next friendly match against Hong Kong on June 1 before facing Turkmenistan on June 8, followed by Bahrain (June 11) and Bangladesh (June 14) in Group E of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. — Bernama

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