Zulkifi scored the only goal of the game for Singapore… 

Singapore U-19s edged past India U-19 as the young South East Asians registered a narrow 1-0 win in the second international youth friendly match played at Bambolim Sports Complex, Goa earlier today.

India coach Floyd Pinto named an unchanged starting XI from the last match, while Singapore coach Christophe Chaintreuil made four changes to his side as Zulkifli, Shahiran and Adnan made the cut. Goalkeeper Aban was the fourth change in the team.

In the previous match, the Blue Colts had registered a thumping 7-2 win over the same opponents, all thanks to two hat-tricks from Edmund Larindika and Naorem Roshan Singh and a goal from Lalnuntluanga.

The match started with midfield play from both the sides. However, India were first to look at their opponent’s goal when Roshan chose to go for glory from distance only to see his effort easily collected by Singapore keeper Aban.

At the other end, Azman’s powerful shot from the top of the box was nicely fisted over the crossbar by Indian keeper Aditya Patra.

Unlike in the first encounter on Monday, Singapore were more efficient in both the departments as their attack was continuously penetrative the Indian defence, while their defenders were too strong to break for the  Indian forwards.

However, India had one great opportunity to go into  the lead when Roshan tried to pick out Lalringika in the box but he failed to reach the ball even with a dive as it rolled to keeper Aban.

With both the teams failing to create any goals in the first half the teams went into the break goalless. 

Indian coach Pinto made five changes in the second half as V. Lalengzama, Amal Das, Joseph Lalsanglura including last match’s hat-trick scorers Roshan and Lalringika made way for Hirish Dhath, Ajin Tom, Raghav Gupta, Biswa Kumar and Rahul Yadav. The changes had the desired impact as the Blue Colts started the second half on the front foot. 

Unlike in the first session, they were more accurate in the passing, while they also produced better gameplay but every move broke down in the final third thanks to inaccurate shooting and over-elaborate passing.

In the 71st minute, Indian defender R. Lalliansanga was given his marching orders after he was cautioned for the second time within four minutes as he brought down Jacob William in the penalty box giving away a spot-kick to the opponents. Zulkifli made no mistake from the spot as he calmly finished the ball into the top right corner and made it 1-0 for his side.

Trailing by a goal, Indian coach Pinto made one more change bringing in Sumit Rathi replacing Zonunnawia Zonuna but it did not help him to save his side from a narrow defeat.

The hosts had a golden opportunity to equalise in added time when Gupta sent a perfect through pass to Lalnuntluanga in the box who shot at advancing keeper Aban instead of directing it in the goal.

Indian coach Pinto was a bit disappointed after a defeat in the match as he said,  “Only thing I can say is that we were not up to the mark today, especially the three upfront. They played well in the first game but failed to keep the consistent.”