Singapore, July 9 (IANS) India U-23 football team defeated Singapore by a solitary goal in the first of the two football friendlies at the Chao Chu Kang Stadium here on Sunday.
Germanpreet Singh curled in the winner from inside the box in the 80th minute.
The second tie is slated to be played on July 12.
“The boys were playing together for the first time in an international match. The manner they reacted pleases me. You need to consider the fact that they hadn’t played a match together as a team prior to this,” India coach Stephen Constantine told AIFF’s official website.
“Winning an international friendly away from home is always pleasing. The fighting spirit was evident from the kick-off itself.
“Technically, we were better, we were fitter, we were stronger. We dominated but just couldn’t make the right move at the right time,” Constantine added.
The match began in a flurry with both teams not shying away from trying to seize the advantage early.
India got a free kick in the 14th minute from a prime position but Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s shot went just wide.
The 29th minute presented a golden opportunity but Nanda Kumar’s strike missed the far post by a whisker.
Changing over, India attacked but 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 went wide.