AFC Asian Cup 2019: Thailand's Milovan Rajevac - Aggressive, determined India deserved to win

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The Thailand head coach felt that the second-half made the difference in his team's 1-4 loss to India...

Thailand head coach Milovan Rajevac stated India's second-half performance as the reason for his team's humiliating 1-4 defeat in their AFC Asian Cup Group A match held at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Sunday.

Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring for India but Teerasil Dangda's header had Thailand back in the game. However, Chhetri scored again soon after the restart before Anirudh Thapa and Jeje Lalpekhlua made it 4-1 to hand the War Elephants a bad defeat.

"In the first half the game was pretty close. Although we conceded a goal we came back in the game after scoring from the freekick. In the second half, India played very well. They were pretty aggressive with the ball and were determined to win. They made many fouls but they totally deserved the victory.

"We underperformed in the second half. we need to make more runs and be aggressive with the ball to get better results," Rajevac said after the game.

Rajevac praised India's performance and general improvement over the years. He also conceded that his team were unable to respond to India's aggressive style of play in the second half.

"India started the game with good intensity and we were slightly impressed but we knew from before that India as a team has improved a lot over the years and unlike my team, they performed very well especially in the second half. We have to learn from this match move on. 

"We conceded the second goal very early in the second half so we had to open up to try to equalize. The problem was we couldn't respond to the aggressive style of play by the Indians."

The defeat does not bode well for Thailand's chances progression from the group stage but Rajevac remained confident of his team's ability to bounce back.

"We definitely have quality players in our team, today was a bad day for us, we couldn't perform the way we wanted to but we still have two matches in hand. We have to learn from the mistakes we made today (Sunday) and come back strongly for the next two games to qualify for the next round.

"Even though we lost today, I'm still positive and we can still qualify but for that, we have to learn from our mistakes and play more aggressively."