Kuala Lumpur Post

Sports

Malaysia suffer first defeat in Group D after losing 0-2 to Oman

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia suffered their first loss in the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign after going down 2-0 to Oman in Muscat yesterday.

The rankings did not lie as World No. 80 Oman proved too strong for world No 132 Malaysia.

Kim Pan Gon’s men put up a creditable show in the first half which ended goalless at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex despite the hosts firing three on-target shots.

But the Reds rifled in two second half goals for full points to move to the top of Group D.

Malaysia, who had started the day as the group leaders after wins over Kyrgyzstan (4-3) and Taiwan (1-0) last year, dropped to third spot. Kyrgyzstan moved into second place after beating Taiwan 2-0 in Kaohsiung.

Coach Kim Pan Gon had targeted Harimau Malaya to come home with at least a point. But that wasn’t going to happen when Malaysia couldn’t find the net.

In the second half, Oman, coached by Jaroslav Silhavy, who used to manage the Czech Republic team, drew blood in the 58th minute when Ali Sulaiman Al-Busaidi crossed to Issam Alsabhi who scored.

In the 60th minute, Malaysia came close to getting the equaliser but left-back La’Vere Corbin-Ong’s header was denied by the crossbar.

Malaysia were also denied a scoring chance in the 80th minute when substitute Paulo Josue was flagged for a questionable offside.

In the 88th minute, Muhsen Saleh Al Ghassani put the game beyond Malaysia’s reach with a chipped goal.

Pan Gon now has his work cut out as the South Korean tries to reverse the tide in the return leg against Oman at Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.