Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Thailand fires coach Milovan Rajevac after AFC Asian Cup loss to India

Thailand fires coach Milovan Rajevac after AFC Asian Cup loss to India

Cricket-mad India shocked and humiliated Thailand 4-1 in the team's first Group A match of the Asian Cup football tournament on Sunday. "I would like to announce the termination of the contract of the head coach of the Thai national team Milovan Rajevac and also announce the appointment of Sirisak Yodyardthai to perform the duties with the team", FA Thailand president Somyot Poompanmoung said in a statement. "But as president of the football association, I can not stand still with this problem".

The UAE face India and Bahrain play Thailand in the second round of group matches on January 10, while defending champions Australia open against Jordan on Sunday.

India have recorded their first win at the Asian Cup finals since 1964 after two goals from captain Sunil Chhetri helped them defeat Thiland, overtaking Lionel Messi to become the second highest-scoring active worldwide player.

Lamenting his side's abject display, Rajevac admitted that India were worthy winners.

They had made the better start and came close when Adisak Kraisorn forced a close-range save from India captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

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Rajevic has been criticised for his defensive style but the Serb clearly felt otherwise after watching Thailand over-run by a hungry India side. "We lacked power, strength and aggression".

Thailand are competing at the Asian Cup for the first time since 2007 and will look to bounce back when they face Bahrain on Thursday.

But a semi-final loss at the AFF Cup, which the nation had won in 2014 and 2016, and the India defeat led to his sacking.

The Emiratis were held 1-1 by Bahrain in Saturday's curtain-raiser.

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