Indian Football: India vs. Thailand Preview and Predictions, Sunil Chhetri ranks ahead of Andres Iniesta, and much more!!!

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Welcome to another edition of our Indian football news roundup. Today, we will preview the India vs. Thailand encounter in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and predict the result of the match. In other news, Sunil Chhetri has been ranked ahead of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta in the Best Footballer in Asia 2018 list.

India’s group A rivals UAE and Bahrain shared the spoils in the curtain raiser of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The match ended 1-1 and Thailand and India would fancy their chances on this result. In the I-League, Indian Arrows pipped Gokulam FC 1-0 thanks to Rohit Danu’s solitary strike and Anthony Wolfe’s brace ensured Churchill Brothers picked up a 2-0 win over the defending champions Minerva Punjab.

In case you missed out the previous edition of the Indian football news roundup, you can check it out here.

2019 AFC Asian Cup: India vs. Thailand- Preview and Predictions

Indian Football Team will lock horn with Thailand on 6th January.
Indian Football Team will lock horn with Thailand on 6th January.

India will lock horns with Thailand in their opening group encounter of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The Blue Tigers, India, are ranked 97 whereas the War Elephants, Thailand, are ranked 118.

However, India shouldn’t take the affair against Thailand lightly as two of their players, Teerasil Dangd and Chanathip Songkrasin, ply their trade in Japan’s J1 League. India’s Sunil Chhetri can overtake Llionel Messi in the list of active international goalscorers’ list if he scores against Thailand tomorrow.

Although the match should be an evenly contested one, Sportsindiashow predicts India to edge out a victory and sit on the top of the table momentarily.

Sportsindiashow Predictions: Thailand 1-2 India

Best Footballer in Asia 2018: Sunil Chhetri ranks ahead of Andres Iniesta, Shinji Kagawa, and Paulinho to finish in the 21st spot

Titan Sports released the ‘Best Footballer in Asia 2018’ list and awarded South Korea’s Son Heung-Min the award. India’s Sunil Chhetri finished in the 21st spot ahead of 2010 FIFA World Cup winner Andres Iniesta, Borussia Dortmund forward Shinji Kagawa, and 2018 Brazilian World Cupper Paulinho.

Here is the full list:

01 Son Heung Min (South Korea / Tottenham Hotspur )

02 Makato Hasebe (Japan / Eintracht Frankfurt )

03 Alireza Beirenvand (Iran /Persepolis FC)

04 Suzuki Yuma (Japan / Kashima Antler)

05 Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria/ Al Sadd SC)

06 Wu Lei (China / Shanghai SIPG)

07 Alireza Jahanbaksh (Iran/AZ Alkmaar-Brighton & Hove Albion)

08 Neil Etheridge (Philippines / Cardiff City)

09 Takashi Inui (Japan / Eibar- Real Betis)

10 Abdelkarim Hassan (Qatar/ Al Sadd FC)

11 Yuya Osako (Japan / FC Koln- Werder Bremen)

12 Aaron Mooy (Australia/ Huddersfield)

13 Matthew Ryan (Australia/Brighton & Hove Albion)

14 Salman Al-Faraj (Saudi Arabia /Al- Hilal)

15 Nguyen Quang Hai (Vietnam/ Ha Noi FC)

16 Akram Afif (Qatar/Al Sadd SC)

17 Kwon Sun-Tae (South Korea / Kashima Antler)

18 Hwang Ui-Jo (South Korea / Gamba Osaka)

19 Marcus Berg (Sweden / Al-Ain FC)

20 Gen Shoji (Japan / Kashima Antler)

21 Sunil Chhetri (India / Bengaluru FC) 

21 Zhao Xianyou (Korea / Daegu)

23 Valery Kichin (Kyrgyzstan / Yenisei)

24 Paulinho (Brazil/Barcelona-Guangzhou Evergrande) 

24 Caio (Brazil / Al Ain)

24 Omar Al Somah (Syria/ Al-Ahli)

24 Chanathip Songkrasin (Thailand / Consadole Sapporo)

28 Kengo Nakamura (Japan / Kawasaki Frontale)

28 Shinji Kagawa (Japan / Borussia Dortmund)

28 Odil Ahmedov (Uzbekistan / Shanghai SIPG)

28 Sardar Azmoun (Iran/Rubin Kazan)

32 Serginho (Brazil / America Mineiro- Kashima Antlers)

33 Andres Iniesta (Spain/Vissel Kobe ) 

33 Daigo Nishi (Japan / Kashima Antler)

33 Altymrat Annadurdyyew (Turkmenistan/ Altyn Asyr)

2019 AFC Asian Cup: India’s Group Rivals UAE and Bahrain share spoils in an exciting encounter

In the opening day of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, India’s group rivals UAE and Bahrain shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw. The first half was a cagey affair with the goalkeepers rescuing both the teams.

However, unlike the tepid pace of the first half, the second one was a frenetic affair with UAE’s substitute Saif Rashid created havoc with his marauding runs down the right flank. However, it was the visitors Bahrain who got the lead after Mohamed Al Rohaimi found the back of the net in the 78th minute.

UAE didn’t have to wait long for the equalizer as Ahmed Khalil restored the parity for the hosts after converting a spot-kick ten minutes later. The final scoreline remained 1-1 as neither side could force a lead.

I-League Live Score: Indian Arrows pip Aizawl FC; Churchill Brothers thrash Minerva Punjab

Earlier in the I-League, Indian Arrows pipped Aizawl FC 1-0 in the 2:00 p.m. kickoff game. Rohit Danu became the youngest goalscorer in the I-League in the process after he put the ball in the back of the net.

In the 05:00 p.m. kickoff game, Churchill Brothers thrashed Minerva Punjab 2-0 with a brace from Anthony Wolfe paving the way for the defending champions’ path of destruction.

As a result of these games, Indian Arrows climbed to the ninth position whereas Aizawl FC slipped to the tenth position. Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, surge to the third spot with 19 points from 11 matches.  Minerva Punjab stay on the seventh spot with 13 points from 11 matches.

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