Kings’ Cup 2019, India vs Thailand: Blue Tigers finish third after pipping War Elephants


India ended their King’s Cup 2019 campaign with a victory over Thailand as they finished third in the tournament. Curacao, to whom India lost in their opening fixture, won the tournament after beating Vietnam in the finals later in the day.

Anirudh Thapa celebrates after scoring the goal for India alongside Balwant Singh

Head coach Igor Stimac made three changes a total of eight changes to the side that started in the previous match as he wanted to give everyone an opportunity to prove themselves. Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, and Subhasish Bose were the only three players to retain their position as Amrinder Singh, Adil Khan, Vinit Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Amarjit Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Farukh Chaudhary, and Balwant Singh found their way.

India took the lead in the 16th minute when a wayward free-kick from Raynier and the subsequent poor clearance from Thailand players found the ball in Adil Khan’s feet. The FC Pune City defender delivered a low cross and Anirudh Thapa made no mistake in slotting the ball home.

Thailand upped their ante to get the equalizer but a resolute defense guarded by Sandesh Jhingan and Adil Khan stood in front of their way. The full-time scoreline read 1-0 in favor of India as they pick up crucial ranking points from Thailand.