06 Jan 2019
AFC Asian Cup 2019: India breeze past Thailand, win 4-1
India showed their worth in their first match of Group A in the AFC Asian Cup when they thrashed opponents Thailand 4-1, with goals from Sunil Chhetri, Anirudh Thapa, and Jeje Lalpekhlua.
The result will be a major boost to the Blue Tigers' ambitions of progressing in the tournament as India's forward line firing up was the main concern.
Here's our match report.
How did the goals come in the match?
Sunil Chhetri scored the first goal of the match from a spotkick which took India ahead in the 27th minute.
Thailand replied from a set-piece freekick and the scoreline was 1-1 at half-time.
Chhetri again took India forward with a spectacular long-ranger from a Udanta Singh pass.
Anirudh Thapa scored again with an audacious chip as Lalpekhlua gave the final touch for another goal.
Things looking positive for India at the moment
The match showed us that the Blue Tigers mean business this time around, and if they continue to be as lethal in front of the goal, positive things can be expected from Sunil Chhetri and company.
Considering the dearth of goals he was suffering from earlier, Jeje Lalpekhlua scoring is a sign of relief as he needs to find his touch against tougher opponents as the tournament progresses.
The Thai team were dominating in other sectors
Though it was a pretty one-sided affair when it comes to goals, the Thai team looked pretty effective in the first half, holding India to 1-1.
Stats show that Thailand were dominant in terms of possession (66%), and completed almost double (532) the number of passes India did (235).
India played a clean match, registering not a single booking throughout the 90+ minutes.
India are group-toppers as of now
The tournament's first match, between UAE and Bahrain, ended in a 1-1 draw and this means India are currently leading the Group A table and Sunil Chhetri is the highest scorer till now.
India have a crucial match up next, against UAE on January 10, and this will decide the outcome of the group to a large extent.
They play Bahrain on January 14.