India thrashed Thailand 4-1 in their first game at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup held in Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
This was India’s first win against Thailand since the Merdeka Cup in 1986 and first win in the Asia cup since 1964. India is ranked 97th globally on the FIFA charts are now in pole position in the Group A division of the Asia cup.
Sunil Chhetri the striker and captain for India scored twice in the 27th and 46th minute. A young Anirudh Thapa scored in the 67th minute, and substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua finished it for India in the 88th minute.
India couldn’t maintain the lead against Thailand after they scored in the 33rd minute, but a superb second half stole the game for India.
All this even after Thailand held 66 % position throughout the game. The Indians closed down quicker in the midfield section, not allowing their players time on the ball.
Also this game made Sunil Chhetri (67 goals) overtake Argentine superstar Lionel Messi (65) to become the second-highest international goal scorer among the active players. Chhetri achieved this feat while playing his 104th match.
India will face hosts UAE in their second match of the tournament on January 10th.
Earlier UAE played out a 1-1 draw against Bahrain.