Farukh, Manvir shine as India U-23 football team thrashes Rydalmere Lions
India U-23 team wrapped up its exposure trip Down Under in style, registering an emphatic 4-0 victory over Rydalmere Lions FC, at the Valentine Sports Park in Sydney on Friday.
Farukh Choudhary (6th minute, 38th minute) bagged a first-half brace before super-sub Manvir Singh (74’, 77’) added two more in the span of three minutes to hand India a comfortable victory.
India, during their preparatory camp in Sydney, have won two of the three friendly games against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC and Rydalmere Lions FC. They went down fighting against reigning A-League premiers champions Sydney FC.
Farukh did not take more than six minutes to find the back of the net when he converted a long cross from Sajid Dhot from the heart of defense.
Four minutes later, he created an opportunity for Ashique but the Lions defense intercepted to thwart the danger.
Having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, India came very close to doubling the lead quite a few times but the Rydalmere defense was up to the task each time.
Farukh delivered once again when he chased down a long ball from Chhangte to fire it from close range, leaving the hosts two down.
In the second half, the Indian coach opted to send some fresh pair of legs and introduced Manvir, Nikhil and Vignesh while withdrawing Sumeet, Chhangte and Ashique respectively.
At the stroke of the hour mark, Anirudh Thapa got a chance to register his name on the scoresheet but his long free-kick sailed over the crossbar.
Farukh then earned a spot-kick in the 73rd minute and Manvir made no mistake to place it calmly in the net, having outfoxed the goalkeeper completely.
Two minutes later, substitute Vinit got hold of the ball in mid-field and crossed it over the defender’s reach for the Punjab-born striker.
After registering the authoritative victory, the Indian contingent will now head to Bangladesh to compete in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018, when they face neighbours Sri Lanka in their opening fixture on September 5.