The long wait of 55 years finally comes to an end! Presenting immense grit and determination, Indian football team netted a tremendous victory scripting history by defeating Thailand 4-1 in their opening match of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Sunday.
Bringing pride of winning the match after 55 years of long wait, the Men in Blue registered their biggest win in the tournament and also their first in the Asian Cup since 1964.
Sunil Chhetri broke the deadlock with a penalty in the 27th minute before Teerasil Dangda equaliser brought the War Elephants back into the contest. Sunil Chhetri struck again soon after the break with an excellent first-time strike to restore India’s lead. Anirudh Thapa then went on to extend India’s lead in the 68th minute and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored after coming off the bench to be part of a historic win for India.
It was Sunil Chhetri who stole the show, as the striker bagged two goals, one with a penalty in the first half, and a brilliant second right at the start of the second half. The most cherishing moment of the match was when team India celebrated their victory with their fans. A moment to capture this victory is dedicated completely to the determinant players of Indian football team.
But the two sides were more or less unknown quantities as they have played very few matches against each other in recent times. The last time the two sides played against each other was in 2010. Thailand won both matches — 2-1 and 1-0.
The last time India beat Thailand was way back in the 1986 Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
India’s last win in the continental competition came against Hong Kong which was by a 3-1 margin back in 1964, which was incidentally their biggest and last victory in Asian Cup which was held in Israel.