Group A first match today, thailand vs india UAE as Host this tournament asian cup 2019. UAE draw 1-1 against Bahrain. Australia as a champions contender lost to Jordan 0-1.
Indian football team begins its AFC Asian Cup 2019 campaign against Thailand on January 6. It is a must-win match-up for both teams if they hope to qualify out of a group that also includes host UAE and Bahrain. The 420 Grams crew is joined by freelance journalist Paul Murphy, who is based in Bangkok and covers Thai football. Paul, Arjun, Leslie and Siddhanth analyse the strengths and weaknesses of both teams, their coaches and share their thoughts on how this opening clash might play out.
Bob Houghton. Xavier Colaco. Savio Medeira. Wim Koevermans. Stephen Constantine. Bengaluru FC. Sunil Chhetri. I-League history. Indian Super League. Indian Duper League. Kolkata win an actual footballing title! And then Mohun Bagan win one too. Chettri scores a wonder goal. Bengaluru miss out on AFC Cup gold. Aizawl FC’s fairytale. AIFF goes on sale. Reliance money hits football. Bengaluru jump ship to play ISL ball. Minerva Punjab keep the underdogs plucky. World Cup mania hits the country. Jeakson Singh scores. Soon though the stands again go empty, forcing Chhetri to put the truth bluntly. Let’s stop here.
Seven years, five coaches, two leagues, one World Cup and a massive churn of players later, India are back at Asian football’s grandest stage: the AFC Asian Cup. Is change, at last, on the way in Indian football? Are India, the 97th ranked team in the world, finally ready to feature in the latter half of the tournament. Over the next week, we may well find out. (Get live updates and live football score of the India vs Thailand AFC Asian Cup 2019 match below)
On days like this though, it is best to discuss history. However, India have very little from the Asian Cup. They have been here thrice before (1964, 1984 and 2011) and have two wins to show from the tournament. Those two wins came in 1964 when India finished runners up. Fifty five years since a victory, and 35 since we even won a point. Two names remain from Doha in 2011 — Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Only one of them has grown any taller. The other is wedged between those pesky idiots, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the goalscoring charts.
In the way of those valuable points stand Thailand — every middle class Indian’s favourite bachelor party destination. They have a fairly decent football team too. India have Chhetri you say? The Thai have Teerasil Dangda. Chhetri’s goal scoring prowess is well established (65 in 104 games at 0.6 goals per game). Dangda is no feather duster either. He has 42 from his 95 games. And he isn’t the only threat. Adisak Kraisorn is in scintillating form; eight goals in Thailand’s AFF Championship semifinal run won him the golden boot from the tournament.
But let’s not waste time talking about goalscorers because this will probably not be a high-scoring encounter. Stephen Constantine will not allow it. Period. If China were held to a goalless draw then so will everyone else. In fact, India’s cleanest route to victory is through a packed defense, and counter. Aim to win a point, but sneakily get all three. Smash and grab boys. The Italian Job done the Indian way. Paakitmaar!
There is a lot going on in Indian football. Today though, there is just this. India vs Thailand.