Sunil Chhetri Starts on Bench as India Face Thailand in 3rd Place Playoff at King's Cup
King's Cup: Indian team mainstays Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Udanta Singh started on bench as India faced Thailand in the third place playoff.
Sunil Chhetri is India's most capped player. (Photo Credit: AIFF)
Buriram: Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Udanta Singh and Brandon Fernandes were resigned to the bench on Saturday as India's starting XI was announced for their third place playoff for King's Cup against Thailand.
India's new men's football team coach Igor Stimac decided to give a chance to all the players he had brought with him as some of the Indian team mainstays started on bench.
India's match-up against Thailand was billed as a rematch of their AFC Asian Cup group stage game where the Blue Tigers thumped them 4-1. In that match, Chhetri had scored twice while Anirudh Thapa and Jeje Lalpekhlua was the other two scorers for India.
Amarjit Kiyam and Raynier Fernandes were handed their first starts for India after they made their debut for the national team as substitutes in India's 3-1 loss to Curacao in King's Cup opener.
Amrinder Singh got a look as the goalkeeper since Gurpreet was on the bench while Adil Ahmed Khan and Balwant Singh also got a starting place in the Indian team line-up.
In the absence of Chhetri, the captain's armband was given to defender Sandesh Jhingan, who had led India in a tri-series in 2017
Here is India's starting XI against Thailand: Amrinder, Subhasish Bose, Jhingan (C), Adil, Thapa, Vinit Rai, Farukh Choudhary, Balwant Singh, Rahul Bheke, Amarjit Kiyam, Raynier Fernandes.
At the time of publishing the article, India led Thailand 1-0 with the first half of the match in play. Combining with Adil, Thapa had got his name on the scoresheet with a smart tap-in.
It was sort of melee in the Thai box where India somehow managed to keep the ball in play. Adil did not give up and looped in a good curling pass from the left to the right. Thapa, who was unmarked, timed his run to perfection and scored the goal.
Even Thailand managed to get the ball at the back of the net but it was ruled offside.
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