India go down to Singapore

 India failed to maintain their recent impressive form as they went down 0-2 to Singapore in their international football friendly match here on Tuesday.

 
India were clearly the better side in the opening half but they conceded a goal in the 43rd minute, scored by Khairul Amri, against the run of play and from then onwards the visitors were just doing the the catch-up job.

Wim Koevermans’ boys were expected to come hard but again they let in another goal soon after resumption of play to make their hopes of a comeback much more difficult.
Fazrul Nawaz fired in Singapore’s second goal in the 49th minute in the match played at the Chao Chu Kang stadium in front of 3000 spectators which had a large proportion of Indian supporters.

Coming into the match with their confidence on a high after their recent Nehru Cup triumph, the Indians, however, lacked fighting spirit as they could not lift themselves up from the first goal jolt.

This was the first defeat for the Indian team outside home under Koevermans and second loss under the Dutch coach after the one against Cameroon in the league stage of the Nehru Cup.

India dominated the first half and pressed hard for an early goal by switching flanks but they failed to get the desired result.  Captain Sunil Chhetri, Clifford Miranda and Sanju Pradhan combined well to make some dangerous moves but did not get a clear opening. Chhetri was not at his best. He also suffered a slight niggle during the match and was eventually replaced by Robin Singh just after the hour mark. 

Much against the run of play, Singapore surged into the lead in the 43rd minute when Khairul Amri intercepted a clearance down the right, entered the box and placed it past an advancing Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul.

Changing over, Singapore did not allow India to settle down and doubled the score in the 49th minute, Fazrul Nawaz putting it past a diving Pal.

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