Printer Friendly and PDF

Singapore: India are looking forward to a good 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifying campaign after edging Singapore 1-0 in a friendly at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore on Sunday 

For Singapore, however, head coach Richard Tardy said the result showed that they have much to do in their bid to qualify for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship and to impress in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.

The AFC Asian U-23 Championship Qualifiers will be played on July 15 to 23. India are in Group C alongside Qatar (hosts), Syria and Turkmenistan while Singapore will bid to advance from Group F where they have Australia, Myanmar (hosts) and Brunei for company.

Germanpreet Singh's 80th minute goal gave India the win and coach Stephen Constantine was a pleased man, especially as he had limited time to work with his squad.

The U-23 side's win came just three days after India's senior team saw their FIFA World Ranking surge to 96, proof that Indian football is on the rise and with the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be hosted in India in October, football fever is set to escalate.

Tardy, head coach of Singapore's youth teams, said the Singapore U-23 side have to improve their finishing ahead of the 2018 AFC U-23 Qualifiers and the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

"We must arrive into good shooting positions. We don't do that because the technical quality is not enough... Players don't arrive to find support," said Tardy.

However, there were positives, said Tardy.

“We lost the game and I saw the faces of the players – they were disappointed. The target was to perform very well and to get a positive result which we didn’t. But the spirit of the boys was good especially when we have so many players out injured – and let’s not forget India are a good team.”

Singapore are seeking to qualify for their inaugural 2018 AFC U-23 Championship, which will be hosted by China PR in January. 

For the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August, Singapore are in Group A along with hosts Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Brunei.

The U-23 Singapore and India sides will meet in another friendly on Wednesday.

Photo: Football Association of Singapore