Milovan Rajevac has been given his marching orders as Thailand lost 4-1 to India in their first game of the AFC Asia Cup.
Two goals from Indian legend Sunil Chhetri as well as one each from midfielder Anirudh Thapa and striker Jeje Lalpekhlua with just a signle goal from Teerasil Dangda saw Thailand’s AFC Asia Cup campaign get off to a terrible start.
Milovan Rajevac who famously lead Ghana to the quarter finals of the 2010 world cup before narrowly losing to Uruguay via penalty shootout. Rajevac also went on to manage the national teams of Qatar and Algeria with limited success before being hired by Thailand in April 2017 after the resignation of Thai legend Kiatisuk Senamuang.
Milovan Rajevac had been heavily criticised by Thai fans during the lead up to the tournament as well as during the first match for his defensive tactics. These critics included utilising Muangthong striker Adisak Kraisorn on the right flank which provided little success. Although the striker had recently won the golden boot for the AFF Suzuki Cup, he had been moved out wide to make room for returning talisman Teerasil Dangda.
Additionally when Thailand were trailing to India, Rajevac made very poor substitutions whilst chasing the game. He took off the ball carrying midfielder Sanrawat Dechmitr and put on left back Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri much to the bewilderment of fans. Then he took of Thailand’s best and most creative midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin and replaced him with Prachuap striker Siroch Chatthong, a player with an international record of 3 goals in 24 games.
Assistant coach Sirisak Yodyardthai will now take charge of Thailand’s remaining games in the AFC Asia Cup, beginning with Bahrain on 10th Janurary.