Indian football team began their 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaign on a thumping note with a 4-1 win over Thailand. It was Indian captain Sunil Chhetri’s brace (27th & 46th minutes), that set the tone for a historic win. Apart from the skipper, young Anirudh Thapa, who netted his first international goal, and Jeje Lalpekhlua added to India’s tally in the 68th and 80th minute respectively as well. For Thailand, Teerasil Dangda scored the lone goal in 33rd minute.
There was decent support for India at the Al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the crowd enjoyed the best of Indian football. Following the match, the Blue Tigers celebrated the win with their fans and Chhetri led the ‘Viking clap’ that had crowd engrossed. AFC Asian Cup 2019 Video Highlights: India Overpowers Thailand as Sunil Chhetri Gets Past Lionel Messi
Here's the video:
— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 6, 2019
Meanwhile, the win was India's first victory against Thailand since the Merdeka Cup of 1986. This was also India's highest victory margin against Thailand. In 1986, India had won 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick by the legendary Krishanu Dey. AFC Asian Cup 2019 Schedule in PDF: Download Asia Cup Football Full Timetable in IST With Fixtures, Matches, Team and Venue Details.
The win puts India at the top of the points table in Group A. They are followed by Bahrain and hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE), who had played out a 1-1 stalemate in the tournament opener on Saturday. India will next take on home side UAE on Thursday, January 10. India’s last group stage game is scheduled against Bahrain on January 14. (Inputs IANS).