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The Les Bleus youngsters were too strong for the Lions, who comprised largely Under-23 players, as they went down in front of a packed stadium in Reunion Island

A young Singapore side made up of LionsXII and Courts Young Lions players were no match for the France Under-21s as they went down 6-0 in a friendly on Tuesday morning, Singapore time.

Played at the Stade Michel Vornay in Saint-Pierre, Reunion Island, the hosts ran out easy victors in front of a sell-out 8,067 crowd against their Southeast Asian opponents.

Lions coach Bernd Stange had named a youthful 19-man squad for the game, which is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Football Association of Singapore and the French Football Federation (FFF) in October last year.

All four over-aged players started the game, namely goalkeeper 24-year-old trio Izwan Mahbud, Faritz Hameed and Afiq Yunos, along with Khairul Amri, 29, who was named captain. The rest of the team comprised U23 players, with Stange having an eye on the Asian Games later this year, where football is a U23 competition.

But the Willy Sagnol's charges proved too strong as they powered to a 4-0 lead at half-time, with Lyon regular centre-back and captain Samuel Umtiti opening the scoring on 21 minutes.

Rennes forward Paul-Georges Ntep grabbed a brace in the 23rd and 35th minutes, with 17-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker Kingsley Coman netting just a minute before the break. The French added two more through Marseille star Florian Thauvin in the 54th minute and OCG Nice starlet Neal Maupay 10 minutes later to round off the scoring.

Stange had been hopeful of a good performance in this friendly to help convince the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to send them to the Asian Games, which starts on September 14.

Goal reported two weeks ago that the Young Lions will be sitting out of the Singapore Cup this year with the team set for an overseas tour in preparation for the Asian Games and the SEA Games next year.



Singapore XI: Izwan, Faritz, Madhu, Afiq, Shakir, Anumanthan, Raihan, Faris, Shahfiq, Amri (C), Sahil.
Bench: Hassan, Al-Qaasimy, Delwinder, Zulfahmi, Aqhari, Amirul, Ammirul.


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