I-league: Minerva gets its first win, Mumbai FC loses again

Host Minerva Punjab FC, after a revamped performance against in-form Churchill Brothers FC Goa which helped it earn a draw on Wednesday, toppled Mumbai FC by a scoreline of 2-1 to register its first win in Hero I-League in its debut season.

The second half kicked off with more urgency and both teams were eager to break the deadlock.   -  I-League Media

Host Minerva Punjab FC, after a revamped performance against in-form Churchill Brothers FC Goa which helped it earn a draw on Wednesday, toppled Mumbai FC by a scoreline of 2-1 to register its first win in Hero I-League in its debut season.

Youngsters Baoringdao Bodo (57′) and Anirudh Thapa (66′) struck in the second half to dash Santosh Kashyap’s desire to turn the table against the newbies. Albeit Karan Sawhney (77′) minimised the gap, it couldn’t deter the Punjab outfit from clinching its maiden win.

Mumbai FC, banking on Kashyap’s innovative 3-1-4-2 formation, were led by Densill Theobald. Minerva army was led by Kareem and Minerva Punjab FC opted to field a 4-3-3 formation to counter Mumbai FC.

The first half saw end-to-end action where Minerva FC came close twice to scoring and Mumbai FC was on the brink of scoring once when veteran international Steven Dias slotted a volley just inches over the target. Victor Amobi continued his string of venomous sprints along the flanks while Anirudh Thapa played in the central midfield region supporting the young striker Bodo.

There was no difference between the two teams in the first 45 minutes. The second half kicked off with more urgency and both teams were eager to break the deadlock.

Tackles came flying as Arashpreet was booked for a challenge on Steven Dias and C Fernandes also saw a yellow card. Minerva managed to score its first goal after a deflected cross from Anirudh Thapa which was converted by Bodo, who was there at the right place at the right time.

The next one came in quick succession for the home team after Thapa scored a freekick goal, beating Kattimani at the far post.

Mumbai started attacking more and also played high pressing on Minerva defence and it was all down to Steven Dias’s in-swinging corner which was headed on to goal by Sawhney to beat Arnab Das, the custodian.

Thapa was also awarded the Hero of the match trophy for his sparkling display. With today’s win, Minerva Punjab FC went ahead of Chennai City FC to the ninth spot in the table with five points whereas Mumbai FC continues its quest for the elusive point following five consecutive defeats in the league.

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