Result: Thailand 1-0 India
Scorer: Sarayoot Chikamdee (73′)

Despite goalkeeper Subrata Pal’s heroic performance, Indian national team lost by a solitary goal against Thailand in the first friendly encounter held at Yahama Stadium in Bangkok on Saturday evening. Thailand’s star striker Sarayoot Chikamdee’s 73rd minute strike separated the two sides that are due to face each other for the return leg on 8th September at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi.

Team India : Still a lot to be desired

Thailand dominated the match from start to finish, keeping a healthy ball possession, whereas India mainly relied on counter attacks. Bob Houghton opted for his preferred 4-4-2 formation with Mohammed Rafi getting the nod in place of yet to recover Indian Captain Baichung Bhutia, to partner Sunil Chhetri upfront. Climax Lawrence was declared fit before the match and the senior midfielder was handed the captain’s arm-band as well. Mahesh Gawli was a surprise inclusion in the left back position ahead of N.S.Manju while Surkumar Singh filled in the right back position.

Houghton’s Thai counterpart Bryan Robson also went for a strong first 11, as expected, with talismanic goal scorer Sarayoot Chikamdee leading the front line, and the experienced Datsakorn Thonglao marshaling the midfield. Thailand, playing in favorable home conditions,started off the match as the more positive of the two teams. The home side dictated the early proceedings and created quite a few decent opportunities,  keeping the Indian defenders always on their toes.

The first real chance of the match fell for Chikamdee in the 21st minute, but his thunderous strike was brilliantly saved by Subrata Pal to keep India on level terms. A couple of minutes later Surkumar Singh tried his luck with a long range shot which was easily collected by the Thailand goalkeeper.

India survived another scare near the half-an-hour mark when Thonglao’s close range effort ricocheted off the goal bar, with Subrata completely beaten. Five minutes before the half time whistle, Teerasil Dangda wasted an opportunity to put Thailand ahead by firing agonizingly wide of the far post from a very close range.

Subrata Pal: Another heroic performance

Sunil Chhetri came closest to registering a goal for India just before the stroke of half time whistle, but the goal-post came up to Thailand’s rescue, as his excellent effort unfortunately got rebounded off the crossbar.

The second half started on a more positive note for the visiting team as they tried to slow down the tempo of the game by keeping the possession of the ball as much as possible. But, it was once again Thailand who looked more likely to be able to break the dead-lock.

With just about 30 minutes remaining in the match, Houghton made a change and substituted an ineffective Steven Dias with Clifford Miranda. Anthony Pereira moved to his preferred right wing position and Miranda operated from the left flank.

Thai midfielder Phichitphong Choeichiu forced a fine save off Subrata Paul in the 70th minute; but even the brilliant performance from the reliable custodian failed to inspire his team-mates, and Thailand broke the stalemate with a fine goal by Sarayoot Chikamdee three minutes later.

Renedy Singh replaced Climax Lawrence at the central midfield with ten minutes to go before the final whistle; after the change, India looked more threatening and pressed for the equalizer. Mehrajuddin Wadoo then came off the bench for N.P.Pradeep, but it was too late by then. Thailand had one more goal disallowed for off-side, one minute from time. Thailand held on to their own fort, seeing off the remaining couple of minute’s stoppage time to register a dominant 1-0 win and they will certainly start as the more confident team ahead of the reverse fixture to be played at New Delhi’s Ambedkar Stadium on next Wednesday.


India Line-up: Subrata, Surkumar, Gaurmangi, Anwar, Mahesh, Anthony, Climax (Renedy 80’), Pradeep (Mehraj 80’), Steven (Miranda 66’), Rafi, Sunil.

Thailand Line-up: Sinthaweechai, Panupong, Surajit, Chonlatit, Theeratorn, Pichitpong, Thonglow, Rangsan, Nutnum, Dangda (Thonkanya 75’), Chikamdee

[Image Courtesy:]

Match Highlights

18 Responses to “Thailand 1-0 India: Subrata’s Heroics In Vain As Men In Blue Suffer Thai Setback”

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  1. kunwar! says:

    I feel bad coz of 2 reasons…

    one, becoz we lost..

    two, i would miss the match here in delhi….im damn sure we wud beat em here at \ambedkar/ on z-6:30 pm..(infy comin)…i wish i hadnt taken this long leave (m out since tue..goin back tommorw to chd)… :(….as far as i have seen matches at ambedkar…i think india wud put in a determined performance at ambedkar…thats for sure…must watch all u delhi-ites..reach early ..2 hrs..prior to the kick off..enter from gate 2…best view…..30 rs ticket shyd)… :(:(:(

  2. kunwar! says:

    reverse fixture is played on this wednesday..8th *************

  3. redNblack_blood says:

    ticket is 50+ now.. its still a sad price though

  4. Biplab says:

    could not find any live streams to watch the match… but I feel 1-0 is a decent scoreline…. and it is not a setback for India because we were playing away match against a team ranked 40 places above us…. so that’s ok….

    but I hv a gut feeling that we r going to see an alltogether different Indian team in Delhi… home support can always work wonders and this Indian team has a very very good record playing in Ambedkar Stadium… so keeping my fingers crossed…. will be going to the stadium to support our team, anyone coming????? hope to see a lot of indian football lovers in the stands…

  5. Subhasish says:

    Disappointed. We were really very sloppy and slow. Our midfiled was almost nonexistant. Steven Dias had a very poor game. Can’t see any improvement over the last 1 year.

    Thailand played very well. I dont think we can defeat them in Delhi. Will Baichung be playing in the home match?

  6. Soccerfan says:

    It’s unlikely that Bhaichung will play on Wednesday right from the start. But he might get a substitute appearence. It’s a pity that even after 15 years without Bhaichung nobody in this team can motivate the players. At 34 years of age, Bhutia still remains the only saving grace for Indian football.

  7. Subhasish says:

    Think positive guys. Taking the below points into consideration, we had a decent game.

    1) We played against a team which is placed abt 40 positions above us.
    2) We played against a team who play international friendlies regulary,
    3) We played against a team in front of a big home crowd.
    4) We were without our inspirational skipper Bhaichung Bhutia.
    5. The weather in portugal, where we trained for 2 months, n thailand is completely different, so adjusting to the conditions was tough for the footballers.

    So 0-1 is DECENT IMO.Fortress Ambedkar, here we come…

  8. Somnath Sengupta says:

    Agree on the 5th point, even Houghton said that on his post-match interview. India practiced in Portugal which was chilly, but Thailand was hot & humid.

  9. @Subhasish–some of your points are valid but brother did u see the match, we were very bad with a non existent mid field and the team we were playing against didn’t even consist of their regular XI.. i hope Dias has a good game in the return tie. Although it will be a different ball game in Delhi on Wednesday. We delhites kick as as far as supporting our national team is concerned in the Ambedkar stadium. Sad i will have to miss this match though :(

  10. sounak says:

    @Subhasish: You missed out one more point. The team is coached god..none other than Bryan Robson.

  11. Somnath Sengupta says:

    To be frank Captain Marvel’s career as coach has been very ordinary. IMO Bob Houghton has more experience & is possibly a better coach…

  12. Subhasish says:

    @Somnath: During his initial days Robson was hailed as a great manager. Robson won the Championship (Div I) with Middlesbrough to elevate them into EPL in his first stint as a manager and finsihed just outside top-10 in EPL that year after a promising start. Nextt season Robson led Boro to both the club finals, League Cup and FA Cup. But they suffered relegation in the Premier League — which would have been avoided if they had not been deducted off 3 points for cancelling a fixture at late notice. Robson was retained by Boro and repaid the trust by bringing them back to PL again next year. Again they reached finals of League Cup, but lost to Chelsea.

    But then somehow his stints in Bradford, West Brom and Sheffield United were not successful because of various reasons. Then he moved on to manage Thailand and managed to do pretty well with them and recently they renewed his contract upto 2014 WC. So he is not that bad a manager I suppose… :)

    On the other hand what had Houghton done till now? Average success spells managing not so good sides like Malmö FF, Ethnikos Piraeus, Al-Ittihad, Colorado Rapids, Shanghai Pudong etc. and had very poor spells as the coach of China and Uzbek national team.

    So it’s not right call Houghton a better coach compared to Robson. More experienced – Yes, but technical skill wise, personality wise and success wise both stands almost equal – Robson might be only a bit better!

  13. Subhasish says:

    @ Sachin: I did watch the match, though very poor quality live stream. See my first comment in this article. Even I was disgusted with the performance of India. But later, thought a bit rationally and found out those points and I think these are very valid points.

    And yes, I agree with you. Delhi would be a completely different ball game alltogether. Even being a native of West Bengal, I prefer a match at Ambedkar than say at Saltlake. This Ambedkar stadium has always been so lucky for our national team. Expect a much improved performance from team India amidst of 15k cheering vocal supporters in Delhi :)

  14. Subhasish says:

    @Sounak: I agree with you completely. Even though I am Scouser and he played for our bitter rivalsI admire Bryan Robson for his excellent vision of the game. A true Legend he is.

  15. Somnath Sengupta says:

    Houghton has reached European Cup final with Malmo, which was an amazing feat considering the fact that Scandinavian football was still in it’s infancy…thats success enough for me.

  16. Added a video clip of the highlights of this match. All Indian football fans can take a look at our performance against Thailand in the match!

  17. sounak says:

    There was almost NO attempt to block the shot (the only goal scored), the defence is shaky, the ball clearance is poor (quite Arsenalish!)