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King's Cup: India eye Asian Cup encore against Thailand

Indian football team

Bengaluru, June 7: India will be eyeing an encore of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 group tie when they take on Thailand in the King's Cup third-place play-off match at the Chang Arena in Buriram, Thailand, on Saturday (June 8).

The match will kick off at 2pm IST and will be shown live on Star Sports 3.

It may be recalled that during the AFC Asian Cup 2019 opener against the same opponents in the UAE in January, India had scored a thumping 4-1 win in Abu Dhabi.

That result gives Saturday's match substantial pretext, as India will hope to erase the bitter disappointment of having lost out for a place in the finals, following their 1-3 defeat to Curacao, which was new coach Igor Stimac's first match in charge.

During the pre-match press conference, the Croat took stock of the previous performance and laid down the plans for the immediate future.

"Before coming over here, I said to my players we're going to follow our way of work. I told them not to get troubled by the results of the games in the beginning. We know that what's more important for us is to keep away from injuries until we finish here and preparing well for the second phase of our work - the Hero Intercontinental Cup in India," Stimac said.

While the forward line looked relatively adept, Stimac will surely be worried about the defensive frailties. The entire India backline had a nightmare against the pace and precision of the Curacao attack in the first half as Sandesh Jhingan and Co were repeatedly caught ball watching.

The midfield could not provide much cover either with Pronay Halder trying and failing to do justice to the enforcer role. The midfield did look much more mobile and compact with the introduction of Amarjit and Raynier in the second half and it would not be surprising if Stimac opts to start with the two at the Chang Arena on Saturday.

Vietnam will take on Curacao in the final.



Kick off

India vs Thailand

2pm at Chang Arena, Buriram (Thailand)

Live on Star Sports 3

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Story first published: Friday, June 7, 2019, 14:44 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 7, 2019
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