Germanpreet Singh strikes to start India U-23's AFC qualifiers preparation with win over Singapore

Singapore: A dominant India U-23 beat Singapore U-23 1-0 in the first of the two International Friendlies with Germanpreet Singh scoring the winner in the 80th minute.

The goal had a stamp of class written all over it. Germanpreet, who with Anirudh Thapa, kept the Indian midfield mobile 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 Stephen Constantine, this was a ninth straight victory in an International match, the previous eight having come with the Senior National Team, including the unofficial match against Bhutan.

Coach Stephen Constantine with the U-23 team in a training session. Twitter/@indianfootball

Coach Stephen Constantine with the U-23 team in a training session. Twitter/@indianfootball

Keen to use the match as a preparation for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Qualifiers in Doha in July, 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 10th minute 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.

Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 08:01 AM

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