Home Sports Coach Kim praises fans, Ultras after Turkmenistan win

Coach Kim praises fans, Ultras after Turkmenistan win

KUALA LUMPUR: National head coach Kim Pan-gon praised Malaysian football fans and the Ultras Malaya after his team’s 3-1 win against Turkmenistan in the Asian Cup Qualifiers Group E clash at the National Stadium last night.

He said the voracious support was well received by the Harimau Malaya squad in the crucial victory.

Pan-gon was understandably proud of his players for working hard throughout the whole game to grab three important points over a higher-ranked team.

Turkmenistan are ranked 134th in the world.

“Thank you very much to the Malaysian football fans and the Ultras Malaya, they gave us full support and I am also very proud of all Harimau Malaya players. I am sure they gave the fans a moment of pride and happiness.

“I think this is one of the best nights for us. We have done a great job and everyone is happy,” he said.

More than 21,000 spectators flooded Bukit Jalil to support the national team, which last played a competitive match at home in November 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

In last night’s action, 154th-ranked Malaysia took a 2-0 lead through goals from Safawi Rasid in the 11th minute and Faisal Halim in the 16th before Altymyrat Annadurdyyev closed the gap for Turkmenistan in the 38th minute.

However, Corbin Ong extended the lead in injury-time before the break to give the perfect start for Malaysia in their qualifying campaign as they top Group E with Bahrain in second.

Turkmenistan head coach Yazguly Hojageldiyev admitted his squad could not match Malaysia’s prowess and cited a lack of preparation as an excuse.

“As I said before, we did not have enough time to practice and Malaysia came prepared, nothing to say except Malaysia were good today. It’s not over yet, we have two matches to go. There’s a chance,” he said.

Malaysia will meet Bahrain while Turkmenistan is scheduled to face Bangladesh in the second group match on Saturday.

Both matches will be played at the National Stadium.

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