Pan-gon said his boys will be out to beat

Taiwan coach White sees red over big talk by Malaysian coach

T. Avineshwaran

Taiwan coach Gary White. — FAM

PETALING JAYA: Hold your horses, Malaysia.

Taiwan coach Gary White is not amused with the big talk by Harimau Malaya coach Kim Pan-gon ahead of their final Group D match of the World Cup 2026-Asian Cup 2027 second-round qualifiers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

Pan-gon said his boys will be out to beat Taiwan by at least seven goals and at the same time, hopes for Oman to beat Kyrgyzstan to ensure his squad reach the third round World Cup qualifiers for the first time.

If they can pull it off, they will qualify for their second consecutive Asian Cup automatically.

White, who used to coach national teams like Hong Kong and the Bahamas in the past, however, blew a fuse over their rivals’ overconfidence.

“They are expecting us to go for our biggest loss? We never thought about that. In one breath, Mr Kim says they want to win 8-0 and then he says that his team do not have six key players,” said White.

“Even with their strongest team, they could only beat us 1-0 last year. And now without six key men, they want to beat us 8-0. I hope they stay grounded and be realistic.

No letting -up: The Malaysian players going through their paces during training ahead of tonight’s 2026 World Cup-2027 Asian Cup second round qualifiers against Taiwan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.— FAMNo letting -up: The Malaysian players going through their paces during training ahead of tonight’s 2026 World Cup-2027 Asian Cup second round qualifiers against Taiwan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.— FAM

“Playing with my team is never easy and he (Pan-gon) knows it.Maybe the media is trying to create a situation for publicity but that is good to get the fans coming, so good job, keep going,” he said. White said his team were not in Kuala Lumpur for a holiday.

“We are here to win because we want to create history by collecting our first point in the second-round qualifiers,” he said.

“The objective is clear, it is to win. And we also want to parade our young players. We would love to have some of these players play in the Malaysian League to help develop themselves and the team.

“We are missing a few players from the Chinese Super League, but we generally have a young and enthusiastic squad.”

Despite the talk of Malaysia thrashing his side, White said the Malaysians had been warm towards his side since they arrived on Sunday.

“Since we arrived here, we have been treated well. Thank you so much for your hospitality,” said White.

He also had a few words of praise for the Malaysian football team, commending the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for having a mix of local, mixed heritage and naturalised players in the team.

“FAM have done a great job forming a strong squad. They have Brazilians, Malaysians, Belgians, Englishmen and Colombians in the team. It is like the United Nations of football.”

Taiwan are bottom of group D without points from five matches while Malaysia are third with with seven points. The top two teams are Oman (12) and Kyrgyzstan (10).

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