SINGAPORE – National Under-23 football educate Fandi Ahmad hailed his facet’s 1-1 draw with North Korea in their AFC Under-23 Championship qualifier on Sunday (March 24) as their best performance due to the fact he took charge of the group in October 2016. Ikhsan Fandi scored an extraordinary solo intention within a minute of kick-off, however, North Korea equalized six mins later on the MFF Football Centre in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Singapore is 0.33 in Group G on factors from fits, two factors at the back of North Korea and Hong Kong, who beat hosts Mongolia 1-zero in the different suit on Sunday. The Young Lions have a danger to pinnacle the institution and qualify for the tournament finals for the first time if North Korea and Hong Kong play out a draw in their very last game on Tuesday and Fandi’s boys beat Mongolia via more than one goal in a later sport. The eleven group winners and 4 excellent runners-up will qualify for the 2020 Under-23 Championship in Thailand in January. The top 3 finishers in the match will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Fandi advised The Straits Times: “I’ve informed the lads that miracles do happen, but we ought to work to create them, too. All we can do now could be work difficult and enjoy the trip, and I’m glad to be on this journey with this bunch of gamers.” He turned into thrilled by the attempt and alertness his players showed in opposition to North Korea, who have been ranked 9th out of forty-four groups within the qualification tournament – Singapore is ranked 30th. The 56-yr-vintage’s 2nd son, Ikhsan, had put Singapore in the front in the first minute, latching on to a clever via bypass by means of Hami Syahin and racing down the left flank earlier than squeezing a shot within the North Korean goalkeeper’s near put up.
Ikhsan, 19, said: “After Hami performed that pass, I ought to listen to everybody at the bench shouting ‘take him on’ so I just saved running at the defender toward the goal, and shot. “I didn’t even see wherein the goal or goalkeeper changed into, my simplest concept turned into to get it on the right track.” North Korea, however, equalized in the 7th minute thru a fab turn and end by Park Kwang Hun. But the 2016 Under-23 Championship zone-finalists were unable to add a second purpose as Fandi’s aspect defended stoutly to disclaim their combatant’s uncomplicated probabilities. “North Korea is a superb team, but our boys battled until the very end, and we survived,” stated Fandi. “The tactical subject became there, the men coped very well. Now we appearance ahead to Mongolia and we will play to win. They are fighters but, tactically and technically, they are now not more potent than us.” Added Ikhsan: “We’ve drawn two video games now (after the 1-1 draw with Hong Kong on Friday), and the lads are focused to get the win against Mongolia. “They’re a good crew with some speedy and skillful players, however, we have that during our team as nicely. “We’ve labored so toughly (to qualify) and we’re going to strive our excellent and notice how matters exercise session.”