Minerva Punjab FC registered their first win of the 12th Hero I-League campaign against Aizawl FC by 2-1 in Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Aizawl on Saturday.
A report published on Saturday by TOI stated that two headers off two corners by centre-back ensured that despite a late penalty conversion by for the home side, Minerva Punjab FC logged a full three points from Saturday’s game.
It has been reported Minerva were bolstered by induction of two Nigerians, Donatus Edafe and Bala Alihassan Dahir, the former in particular having a huge impact on the team’s performance compared to their last two games.
On the other hand, Aizawl FC coach Gift Raikhan started Ivorian Dodoz and David Lalrinmuana on the day in place of Albert and Lalrinfela while Minerva brought in Bala Dahir and Edafe, replacing them with Akash Sangwan and Makan Chothe as well as Moinuddin in place of Ivorian Alexandre who played the last game.
While Dodoz cut in beautifully inside the box from the left and his effort brought about a save from Bhaskar Roy in the Minerva goal, who padded it away for a corner.
In the sixth minute, Toure fouled David, in a dangerous position outside the Minerva box. His free-kick on target was collected in a successful way by Bhaskar.
Then Minerva got a break when Toure’s header off a William Opoku corner gave Minerva their first goal of the league and the lead.
The goal shifted the momentum towards Minerva, and they put up a splendid display of fast counter attacks and innovative set pieces.
Moinuddin, in the 12th minute, was found free inside the box by Opoku, who in spite of having time and space to control, chose to go for a first timer but the ball lobbed over the Aizawl bar. Moinuddin then got one into the net of a cleverly-taken corner, but was called for offside.
In the 24th minute, Aizawl FC’s Dodoz found Bektur inside the box with a wonderful pass and the Kyrgystani turned his defender and was ready to pull the trigger, but Arshdeep’s slide denied Bektur which brought about a bit of rough play and resulted in a couple of bookings on either side.
It has been reported that both the team missed several chances, but Minerva took their one-goal lead
into the lemon break.
But Aizawl began stronger with Kromah striking a volley from just outside the box which went over. However, Minerva came back into the game and Lancine Toure got his second headed strike in the 59th minute, again off a William Opoku corner which pierced Gurpreet in the Aizawl goal and the last defender on the line, going in on the bounce.
Despite efforts from Aizawl for the equaliser, it did not happen and Minerva finally won the match 2-1.
— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) November 10, 2018