India Vs Thailand Asian Cup Highlights:
- India defeated Thailand 4-1 in their first match of group A to go on top of the group with the 3 points
- This was India’s first win at the tournament in 45 years and only their third ever win at the event in 11 tries
- Thailand have fired coach Milovan Rajevac following the defeat
- This is India’s 4th appearance at the tournament with their best ever finish coming in 1964 where they finished 2nd. They are ranked as the 15th best Asian side for the tournament
India commenced their fourth outing at the Asian Cup with the country taking on Thailand in their opening group A encounter. The match saw India put in a tantalizing and intriguing performance, overturning a closely contested first half which ended at 1-1, to ship in three goals past their counterparts in the second to add to their kitty three points that took them top of group A and give them a huge boost in their bid to progress past the group stage for the first time since 1964.
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A match that had a lot of consequences for both the sides, with India making only their fourth ever appearance at the tournament while Thailand had till date won only 1 of their 21 matches in the event saw both sides go into the first half of the clash at 1-1. It was an evenly contested first 45 minutes between the two sides, with both sides afraid to give any sort of advantage to the opposition, wary of being the first side to make the all crucial mistake in the match.
India took the lead in the match with Sunil Chhetri scoring from the penalty spot in the 27th minute. However, the Indians were in front for just seven minutes with Thailand’s captain Teerasil Dangda restoring parity by heading home a Theerathon Bunmathan free kick.
The second half was an entirely different story though. One of the best halves of football the Indian team has played recently saw them come racing out of the blocks stunning Thailand with some mesmerising and eye-catching attacking football.
The scenario changed completely after the break, as Chhetri scored India’s second goal in the opening minutes of the second half, which were soon added to later on to see India sail to a 4-1 win on the night. It was India’s first win in 45 years at the event and also their largest ever victory at the Asian Cup, one which now puts them in the pole position to qualify from the group. India’s next assignment is against the UAE on January 10th in their 2nd match of the cup.
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The aftermath of the drubbing has meanwhile seen the Thailand Football Association sack their coach Milovan Rajevac with former assistant Sirisak Yodyardthai assuming control of the team for the remainder for their two group stage matches.
“The result is not what is expected of the Thai national team and that our supporters deserve,” Thailand’s FA president Somyot Poompanmoung said.
“Like all Thai football fans across the country, I am also disappointed with the result. But as president of the football association, I cannot stand still with this problem.”
The match was also watched by the 12 Thai schoolboys rescued from a flooded jungle cave last year after being trapped for more than two weeks in a heartening gesture by the country to send them to watch their national side in action.
For India, the premium tournament to be played between the 24 best teams in the continent offers a chance to establish their credentials as a nation where the sport is taking massive strides and prove that the sport is indeed moving on the right path of development. It has gotten off to a dream start for the country, hopefully, one that sees them build from strength to strength and fly the Indian flag high at the tournament.
India Vs Thailand Asian Cup Squads:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Amrinder Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Sarthak Golui, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhashish Bose, Narayan Das.
Forwards: Sumeet Passi, Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri (c), Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Jackiechand Singh, Germanpreet Singh, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Rowllin Borges, Ashique Kuruniyan, Halicharan Narzary.
Goalkeepers: Chatchai Budprom, Saranon Anuin, Siwarak Tedsungnoen
Defenders: Theerathon Bunmathan, Chalermpong Kerdkaew, Adisorn Promrak, Pansa Hemviboon, Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri, Suphan Thongsong, Mika Chunuonsee, Tristan Do
Midfielders: Sasalak Haiprakhon, Sumanya Purisai, Thitipan Puangchan, Sanrawat Dechmitr, Tanaboon Kesarat, Chanathip Songkrasin, Pokklaw Anan
Forwards: Adisak Kraisorn, Teerasil Dangda, Chananan Pombuppha, Siroch Chatthong, Supachai Jaided