India U-23 see off Singapore U-23 in tight encounter
Written by: Miqdad
Germanpreet Singh scored the only goal of the game in the second half...
India U-23 kicked off their preparatory training camp in Singapore with a victory by a solitary goal, scored late on by Germanpreet Singh. The performance included impressive performances by a young side playing together for the first time. Notably so, especially from I-League regulars like Germanpreet Singh, Nanda Kumar, Nishu Kumar and Lallianzuala Chhangte.
The first fifteen minutes of the game on a humid evening in Singapore passed by without much incident. Nishu Kumar's half chance the only time either of the two defences were really troubled at the start as Singapore largely looked to focus on hitting India on the counter.
While India largely controlled possession during the early parts of the first half, they found it tough to break Singapore's two banks of four. The hosts themselves created their first meaningful attack in the 21st minute when a free kick swung into the box cause chaos, but only a corner ensued.
Watch Germanpreet Goal as India U-23s beat Singapore U-23s
The best chance of a largely quiet first half came moments before the half-hour mark when Nikhil Poojary cut inside from the right, before swinging a ball across to a run made by left winger Nanda Kumar. The Chennai City youngster's curling effort went inches wide of the far post, with the Singaporean 'keeper rooted to his spot. The only other notable chance, a half chance really, arrived for India on the counter, which saw Daniel and Nanda Kumar involved in some neat football.
The story of the first half had little to savour, with neither offence able to outsmart the opposition defences. The second half, though, started on a different note.
Lallianzuala Chhangte was introduced at half-time by Stepehn Constantine as both teams returned to the pitch with a new rigour in the second half, as counter attacks were met by counterattacks. The start was typified in 2 minutes of action after the 52nd minute when four attacks and counter attacks were launched one after the other.
India had the ball in the back of the net after 60 minutes, only for substitute Chhangte's effort to be ruled out for offside. The DSK winger proved to be a real spark on the left side since his introduction. The game rather settled down again after the rush of forward play, yet it was India who dictated possession much like the first half.
India's pressure eventually paid dividends in the 80th minute. A low cut back from the right by Nanda Kumar was intercepted but poorly by Singapore's centre back as the ball fell kindly into the path of Germanpreet Singh. Minerva's 21-year-old midfielder made no mistake as he expertly curled the ball into the far left corner.
Even as Singapore desperately chased a late equaliser, it was India who created the better chances on the counter. Germanpreet went inches from giving India a two-goal advantage. The Indian youngsters portrayed immense maturity in the last knockings of the game, focusing to play on the counter and keeping the ball wide in offence.
At full time, India held on for a well deserved 1-0 victory.
INDIA: Vishal Kaith; Nishu Kumar (74' Davinder Singh), Lalruatharra (70' Sarthak Golui), Salam Ranjan Singh, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Nikhil Poojary (49' Lalianzuala Changte), Anirudh Thapa (70' Robinson Singh), Germanpreet Singh, Nanda Kumar, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Manvir Singh (72' Robinson Singh)
Published: Sun Jul 09, 2017 07:37 PM IST