Igor Stimac has a disappointing start to his career as the India National Team head coach as the Blue Tigers went down against Curacao for 3-1 in the opening match of the King’s Cup 2019 in Buriram, Thailand on Wednesday.
The first half of the game was not good for India as superior Curacao reigned throughout but the South-Asians produced much-improved display in the second half. This will at least give Stimac some motivation ahead of the third place playoff on June 8.
India’s hope of making a winning start under the captaincy of Sunil Chhetri was quickly put down under 20 minutes as Curacao launched into a two-goal lead.
Rolieny Bonevacia was the first to break thorough Indian defense which by the way was not very tough to do. Another two minutes had barely passed before the 82nd ranked Curacao found their place in the net with the help of Elsan Hooi who ran into acres of space rounded the Indian goalkeeper and finished from a tight angle to make it 2-0.
Sunil Chhetri stepped up to make his 68th international goal after the team was awarded a penalty. India’s hopes of a comeback were soon erased by Leandro Bacuna who slotted it past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to make it a winning 3-1 for Curacao.