AFC Asian Cup: 'Messi Jay' stunner puts Thailand back on track

Silvia Morton
January 11, 2019

If India draw, then they must hope for UAE to either win or draw against Thailand to assure themselves of progress to the second round.

At the back, India were compact and didn't let the UAE get behind the backline.

"The Bahrain result was a disappointment and I humbly apologised to the fans", said UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who steered Japan to the Asian Cup title in 2011. We are ready to face Bahrain.

"We started well but with time we struggled with the pace of the Indian team. But we are ready to give it a real fight".

"We have our plans for the UAE game".

Against India, the Indians muffed some gifted opportunities, hit the bar twice and eventually went down 0-2.

Mubarak whipped the ball home from an acute angle four minutes before halftime for the Emirates, who were runners-up the last time the country hosted the Asian Cup in 1996. Before the Thailand game, would anybody have said that it was going to be easy?

Thailand’s Chalermpong Kerdka fights for the ball with India’s Sunil Chhetri during their teams’ AFC Asian Cup group A match in Abu Dhabi UAE Sunday Jan. 6

Jordan have claimed a ideal six points after first-half goals from Mousa Mohammad Suleiman and Tareq Khattab earned their 2-0 win over Syria in a tempestuous Group B clash.

India are second, level on three points with Thailand after Chanathip Songkrasin struck to earn the War Elephants a 1-0 win over the Bahrainis.

"You can't really say which match is tough".

"We've finally got respect for Indian football, we've woken the sleeping giant". Ismail needed to be stretchered off and UAE made sure there wasn't much action in the last few minutes of the first half.

There aren't many changes which can be expected in India's side for this game, but Chhetri will hold the key if India has to create history.

"But if you don't convert your chances you pay for it - and we paid for it".

Defenders Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika will have a very important role to play as UAE is known for playing attacking football and they boast of strikers like Ali Mabkhout and Khalil among their ranks.

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