The India Under-23 national team finally found their goal scoring boots in a 4-1 trashing of Singapore in their final 2010 Asian Games Group D match at the Huadu Stadium in Goungzhou, China. And with this win India have ensured that they are amongst the best four of the six third placed teams, which means India qualify for the Round of 16.
Though matches in three groups are set to be played only tomorrow India move on as other third placed teams aren't better then us and four of the six third-placed move into the Round of 16. The Maldives have only two points, while Uzbekistan have three points like India, but a negative goal difference of -1 while India have an even goal difference of +/- 0.
India took an early 13th minute lead through a Jewel Sheikh Raja freekick, but it was made easy by Singapore for the Bengali youngster. The wall just wasn't placed properly infront of the ball to block the freekick. Singapore could have equalised, but it remained 1-0 for India.
After the break an alert Balwant Singh scored India's second in the 62nd minute as he saw Singapore goalkeeper Muhammad Durimi way out of his goal, Balwant took a long range attempt which went in. Down by two goals Singapore was forced to open up to have any chance in the match and tournamnet, and this helped India as they utilised the space which they now got. Jibon Singh made it 3-0 for India in the 67th minute after a nice build-up and then Manish Maithani's shot made it four in the 75th minute. Singapore's Zhenlun Luo was only able to reduce the deficit in the 83rd minute as India scored a historic 4-1 victory against Singapore.
India coach Sukhvinder Singh was delighted with the win. He said afterwards, "It was a tough match, but my boys played well. Conditions were tough as we were playing our third match in five days with the same bunch of players. And we were only thinking of winning the match by a good margin. We were confident that if we play with the same enthusiasm that we displayed against defending champions Qatar we can win this match."
"Today my boys gave their best and all the goals were spectacular. Now we will get some rest before gearing up for the next stage," Sukhvinder added.
Who India's opponent will be in the Pre-Quarterfinals next week will be decided only after the last round of group matches tomorrow.
1-Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; 18-Denzil Franco, 4-Rowilson Rodrigues, 14-Dharmaraj Ravanan, 15-Lalrozama Fanai; 11-Joachim Abranches [C], 8-Manish Maithani, 23-Jewel Sheikh Raja, 12-K. Jibon Singh; 24-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 10-Balwant Singh
Substitutions: ??-Karanjit Singh, 2-Abhishek Das, 7-Milan Ongnam Singh, 9-Raju Gaikwad, 19-Subodh Kumar, 20-Lalrindika Ralte, 25-Malswamfela, 27-Jagtar Singh