I-League: Minerva upsets Bagan to top table

Bhutanese forward Chencho Gyeltshen struck twice in a span of seven minutes early in the opening session to seal all three points for the visiting side.

Minerva Punjab players celebrate a goal against Mohun Bagan.   -  I-League

Minerva Punjab FC created an upset as it downed Mohun Bagan 2-1 in front of its fans at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. The win helped the young outfit from Ludhiana reach the top of the current standings.

Bhutanese forward Chencho Gyeltshen struck twice in a span of seven minutes early in the opening session to seal all three points for the visiting side. Despite making a good start Mohun Bagan appeared to lapse into its old tentative form that saw it faltering repeatedly against opponents at home in previous rounds.

This was evident in the way its Liberian striker Anusmana Kromah missed a penalty in the first half before Nigerian defender Eze Kingsley went up to score a late consolation goal in the added time.

Mohun Bagan effected a couple of changes in the squad against the academy side, which has been performing consistently well in the last few rounds. Gyeltshen, playing the lone striker, relished the good support from the three-man attacking midfield as Minerva Punjab came up with fine counter-offensives.

The Bhutanese striker, collecting a feeble clearance from the Bagan defender Arijit Bagui, got the break in the 23rd minute when found the net with a nice pile-driver beating Bagan goalkeeper K. Shibinraj.

Gyeltshen found the insurance goal at the half-hour mark producing a spectacular finish after he was set up with a nice through pass from Ghanaian midfielder William Asiedu.

Bagan earned a penalty in the 35 minute but Ansumana Kromah’s effort from the spot was stopped by Minerva custodian Rakshit Dagar, who judged it right to make a fine save. Bagan finally found the target in the fourth minute of added time when Kingsley Eze came up from defence to fire home a long-ranger.

The win helped Minerva Punjab tally 19 points and overtake East Bengal (on 18 points) to the top of the current standings.

 

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