Far from revenge, India go down to Thailand at home
Heavy showers just before the kick-off threatened to spoil the football lovers' mood, who had descended at the Ambedkar Stadium on Wednesday, hoping to see India avenge their 0-1 away-loss to Thailand.Updated: Sep 08, 2010 23:27 IST
Heavy showers just before the kick-off threatened to spoil the football lovers' mood, who had descended at the Ambedkar Stadium on Wednesday, hoping to see India avenge their 0-1 away-loss to Thailand.
The rain gods relented but the spectators were still disappointed as the hosts lost 1-2.
Thailand's intentions were clear from the start when they came close to scoring through striker Keawsombat Keerati, who tried to convert a pass from Winothai Teerathep, but goalkeeper Subrata Pal cleared the ball.
Aggression was clearly missing in from India's attack. Though corner specialist Steven Dias did his bit, the men in the blue jerseys just couldn't score.
In the 20th minute, Dias latched on to the ball on the right, which he essayed to captain Climax Lawrence in the midfield. Lawrence found Mahesh Gawli, who fired it wide.
In the 35th minute, right-back Surkumar Singh fed Sunil Chettri on the right but the latter misfired.
In another instance, Surkumar passed to Dias who looked to score but Winothai Teerathep broke the rhythm when he lunged at Dias.
It was a different story in the second half as India looked poised to score soon after half time through Chhetri. The striker tried to slot the ball home but lost his balance and fired wide.
The attempt could not dampen Thai spirits. In the 49th minute, Teerathep was again at the fore as he made use of a high ball to slot the ball home.
Despite being a goal down, India came up with some orchestrated moves. In the 55th minute, Chhetri fed Mohammad Rafi, who passed to NP Pradeep. Holding on to the ball did not help and the chance went waste.
The efforts finally paid off. In the 60th minute, Chhetri collected a half volley from Dias and went for the kill with a header. It ricocheted off the crossbar but found Pradeep, who tapped in.
The relief was short-lived as within four minutes Keerati scored off the rebound through a header. Despite being ruled out for the match, Bhaichung Bhatia was introduced in the 71st minute by a desperate coach, Bob Houghton, and a roar greeted the skipper.
Bhutia replaced Rafi but all his 21-minute appearance yielded was a yellow card when Phukhom Suttinun brought him down in injury time.
The Thai was booked for showing dissent.