BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Hosts and defending champions Thailand failed to defend the King's Cup title, when they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Slovakia in the final match on Sunday.
Slovakia had an impressive start to the match, when Ondrej Duda opening the scoring in the 10th minute, before Róbert Mak doubled their lead in the 34th minute. The War Elephants were able to pull one back through Jakkaphan Kaewprom's goal three minutes before halftime, following goalkeeper Michal Šulla's blunder.
However, a worrying incident took place in the first half, involving former Liverpool star Martin Skrtel. In the first half, a powerful cross by Chanathip Songkrasin hit Skrtel on the head, and the defender collapsed and lost consciousness. However, his teammate Duda rushed to him quickly and pulled Skrtel's tongue out of his mouth, and the defender recovered before being allowed to continue playing in the match.
Thanks a lot for all the fans who care about me! I m OK Dont worry!— Martin Skrtel (@Skrtl_Martin) March 25, 2018
When the game continued in the second half, the hosts pressed Slovakia in search of the equaliser, but it was the Slovaks who found their third goal; a wonderful curler from outside the box by Erik Pačinda in the 68th minute. Pansa Hemviboon scored Thailand's second goal of the night in the 79th minute, but they couldn't find the third and the match finished in a 3-2 win for Slovakia.
In the third place play-off, Gabon defeated UAE 1-0, with the only goal scored by Lévy Madinda in the 14th minute.
Both matches were played at the Rajamangala Stadium.
Gabon vs UAE. Photo by Goal Thailand
In the semi-final stage of the four-team invitational tournament, Thailand had beaten Gabon 4-2 on penalties after full-time ended goalless, while Slovakia edged UAE 2-1.