There is an old cliché about tournaments. A tournament is dynamic and the performance of a team depends on the team's vibe. Eight days have passed since the first match between India and Thailand, but the change that both of the teams have made since than was tremendous.
The Thai vibes coming into the tournament were that their coach should be replaced. Yet, Milovan Rajevac got a chance to start the tournament. A 4-1 defeat against India was enough and he was sacked. Sirisak Yodyardthai replaced him as caretaker.
Since then, Thailand defeated Bahrain and drew against the UAE. Four points were enough to qualify even from the third place, but eventually Thailand found themselves as Group A runner-ups. Yodyardthai changed Thailand completely and now they can even dream on a surprise against their next opponent, China or South Korea.
Meanwhile, India came much more confident. The notable win against Thailand made them feel good. Talking about vibes, India felt that they can do much more than just hanging around. The fans became more enthusiastic and the expectations become bigger.
Yet, no one thought that India is a favorite against the UAE, but the match was different. India tried to score more than once, however they were unlucky. As the first Emirati goal has been scored, India failed to get back.
Today, against Bahrain, India was close to qualify, but once again faced the pressure. For 90 minutes the score was tied, though Bahrain was much better. One mistake, a foul by Pronay Halder changed it all. Bahrain scored the penalty and India was eliminated at the end of the group stage.
Maybe a tournament can be dynamic and it's not just a cliché. After two matches, India and Thailand swapped their roles. From being an underdog to the next round, to being favorites to an early exit. Who said that everything is predictable in the Asian Cup?