Minerva Punjab FC’s hard fought win against Shillong Lajong in Panchkula on Wednesday put it again on the top of the I-League standings.
Shillong Lajong came so close to draw the game in Chandigarh on Wednesday against Minerva but were very unlucky as Koffi’s last minute header was disallowed and thus, Bali Gagandeep’s 80th minute strike proved to be the match-winning goal.
Lajong fought very hard in the second half but Bali’s 80th minute goal proved to be the winner. Minerva take the three points at home.
Guy Dano (6th minute) and Gagandeep Bali (47th minute and 80th minute) scored for the hosts while Daniel Odafin (60th minute) and Lawrence Doe (64th minute) got their names on the scoresheet for the visitors at the Tau Devi Lal stadium.
Khogen Singh deployed the home side in 4-2-3-1 formation with former East Bengal midfielder Armand Bazie being given a start. Guy Dano and Sukhdev Singh continued to form the heart of the defence while Gagandeep Bali was chosen to lead the line with Chencho Gyeltshen playing from the right flank.
The visitors lined up in a traditional 4-4-2 with Saihou Jagne and Abdoulaye Koffi designated as the two strikers. Daniel Odafin slotted behind the pair while Samuel Lalmuanpuia and F. Lalrohlua provided the width from either flanks.
The visitors threw everything at the Minerva defence in the dying minutes in search of the equalizer and there was a dramatic moment right towards the end of the match. After dribbling inside the box, Samuel floated a cross to which both Dagar and Koffi challenged for before the latter directed the ball into the net. Much to the dismay of Lajong’s players, the referee blew his whistle for a foul on Dagar.