A dominant India U-23 beat Singapore U-23 by a solitary goal in the first of the two International Friendlies played at the Chao Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore on Sunday (July 9). The tireless Germanpreet Singh, an AIFF Youth Development made product curled in the winner from inside the box in the 80th minute.
The second International Friendly is slated to be played on July 12.
The goal had a stamp of class written all over it. Germanpreet, who with Anirudh Thapa kept the Indian midfield mobile being perfectly aided with the flanks operating at quite a high pace, latched on a back-pass from Nanda Kumar and unleashed a left-footer digging it into the left top-corner.
For National Coach Stephen Constantine this was a straight 9th victory in an International match, the previous eight having come with the Senior National Team, including the un-official match against Bhutan.
Keen to use the match as a preparation for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers in Doha later this month, Constantine, flexible as always, made 5 substitutions, as a large section of Indians enjoyed from the stands.
The match began in a flurry with both teams not shying away from trying to seize the momentum early. But as the match progressed, India’s dominance was evident. The back-four, by the 10thminute itself were playing a high line as India with their relentless pressing and quick passes kept Singapore guessing.
India gained a free kick in the 14th minute from a prime position but Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s shot went just wide. India continued their dominance but remained elusive.
The 29th minute presented a golden opportunity but Nanda Kumar’s strike missed the far post by a whisker.
Changing over, India started in the same fashion from where they had left off. India dominated as a goal seemed inevitable but one had to wait till the 80th minute to break the deadlock.
Singapore pressed hard for the equaliser but the Indian defence stood resolute to deny the hosts any chance of a comeback. India could have doubled their lead in the 92nd minute but Germanpreet’s shot rolled out wide.