Kyrgyzstan crush Harimau Malaya’s hopes

KUALA LUMPUR — Hopes of  Malaysia to create history by advancing to the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers evaporated after Kyrgyzstan tied Oman 1-1 in Muscat early this morning.

At the end of Group D of the second round of the 2026 World Cup/2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers, Oman emerged as champions with 13 points, followed by Kyrgyzstan in second place (11 points), Malaysia in third place (10 points) and Taiwan at the bottom with no points.

Failure to reach the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers saw the Harimau Malaya squad have to go through the third round of the 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers in an attempt to make a second consecutive appearance in the competition.

Earlier, Malaysia maintained a slim hope of qualifying for the first time to the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers after defeating Taiwan 3-1 in the final group action at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil here, last night.

The success saw the national team led by Kim Pan Gon hoping Oman beat Kyrgyzstan at least 7-0 to allow Malaysia to overtake the second place based on total goal difference.

On the other hand, Kyrgyzstan stunned Oman through Eldiyar Zarypbekov’s opener before goalkeeper Erzhan Tokotayev’s own goal forced both teams to settle for a point in the clash at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. — BERNAMA