Thailand sacked Serbian coach Rajevac after 4-1 loss to India

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Milovan Rajevac was sacked after Thailand's 1-4 loss to India in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group A match played at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

After an evenly contested first-half (1-1), Thailand switched off in the second period as India went on a rampage, scoring three more goals.

In the wake of humiliating defeat, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) relieved their Serbian coach and staff members from their duties. The FAT president, Somyot Poompanmoung, said in a statement that it was a 'difficult night' for everyone associated with Thailand football.

"Football Association of Thailand has fully supported the team preparations in all aspects. But the result of the competition is not what is expected from the national team.

"I, like Thai football fans, am disappointed with the result. As the president of the association, I can't stand still with this problem. In this regard, I would like to announce the end of the contract of head coach Milovan Rajevac and some staff members.

"I announce appointment of Sirisak Yotkhakthai to perform the duties of the team with Choketawee Promrut, the assistant coach, for the next match of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 with immediate effect."

Meanwhile, in the post-match press conference, Rajevac was looking forward to next encounters against Bahrain and the UAE, and hoping to take Thailand to the knockout stage.

"We didn't underestimate India. We didn't have response to the aggressive style of play from India," he told reporters.

"It was a bad day. We couldn't perform the way we wanted. But this is just one match and there are still two more to be played. We have to learn from the mistakes and return stronger, take points and of course qualify to the next stage. I am still positive about it. We still have an opportunity. We have to improve a lot, football is not just about the technique but we have to be more aggressive and we have to play to get a result and not just play a beautiful football," Rajevac said in what turned out to be his final words as the Thailand coach.

The Serbian was appointed as coach in April 2017 and his contract was extended till 2020. During his tenure, Thailand had won the 2017 King's Cup and finished runner-up in last year's edition. They also lost out to Malaysia in the 2018 AFF Championship semifinals.

Thailand play Bahrain at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Thursday.


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