THE National Juniors put up an embarrassing display when they could only beat Singapore 2-1 in the Four-Nation Invitational at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
Short of saying pathetic, juniors coach K. Rajan used "Bad day" to sum up the situation.
Izwan Firdaus scored in the fifth minute and Faizal Saari made it 2-0 in the 51st minute. Singapore's goal was scored by P. Anbalagan in the 57th minute, and they were unlucky not to have shared points.
"Singapore always play their best against Malaysia, and it was a bad day and a bad show from my charges.
Rajan also said three matches in a row took their toll on his team: "Nur Hafiq Ghaffar (penalty corner flicker) fractured his finger against Pakistan while two others picked up ankle injuries.
" I am not making excuses for this poor show, but thinking forward to the re-match on Sunday."
In another match, India rattled Pakistan in the first minute itself, to win 3-1 and keep a perfect record in the Four-Nation.
Even though both the teams were already in the final before the match, it turned out to be an entertaining affair as India attacked relentlessly after Kumar Pramod scored a first minute field goal.
Diwakar Ram (14th) and Mujtaba Danish (19th) made it uphill for Pakistan in the second half, and they could only score a consolation in the 51st minute off an Attique Muhammad penalty corner.
India and Pakistan will square off again tomorrow to decide the winners of the Four-Nation, which is being held to test the new stadium ahead of the Junior World Cup which Malaysia and Singapore will co-host on June 7-21.