It was a result that the most optimistic Indian fan would have shied away from predicting. India outclassed Thailand in their group opener in the Asian Cup to register a historic 4-1 win.
Captain Sunil Chhetri led the way by scoring his 66th and 67th international goals, and setting up India’s third but every member in the side had a hand to play here.
Pranoy Halder, Subashish Bose, and Anas Edathodika were instrumental in winning the ball back quickly to start quick counter attacks. Anirudh Thapa and Udanta Singh’s pace helped the Blue Tigers pierce holes in the Thai defence at will. Ashique Kuruniyan was a revelation on the left flank and earned a penalty in the first half.
There was time for even Jeje Lalpekhlua, a player so bereft of form and confidence in recent times, to come off the bench and get on the scoresheet.
Stephen Constantine’s men “ran for their lives”, as summed up by Chhetri after the game, and that took them to a famous win
Twitter exploded in delight, especially the Indian football fans, for whom this victory was hard-earned. Here are some reactions: