Danu, Rahim on target as Indian Arrows stuns I-League champion Minerva

Goals from Rohit Danu in the first half and Rahim Ali in the second ensured that Indian Arrows notched-up its fifth win of the I-League campaign.

Indian Arrows celebrates a goal against Minerva Punjab.   -  AIFF MEDIA

The youngsters of Indian Arrows stunned champion Minerva Punjab FC by the odd goal at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium, to notch-up its fifth win of the Hero I-League season and leapfrog to the seventh position on the points table.

Goals from Rohit Danu in the first half and Rahim Ali in the second ensured that Moinuddin’s 68th-minute strike for the champion went in vain. Rahim was declared thr man of the Match, for scoring the goal which turned out to be the winner.

Akash Sangwan and Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna started the game for the visitor, replacing Dilliram Sanyasi and Saurav Rautella from its last game against Aizawl. Floyd Pinto, the Arrows coach, on the other hand, made two changes, bringing in Anwar Ali and Rahul KP in place of Narender and Ninthoi.

Irish coach Paul Munster’s side dominated possession in the first half but the Arrows had the better scoring opportunities.

One such opportunity was created by captain Amarjeet Kiyam in the 38th minute, when a long-range strike from him, thundered the crossbar and came back out. Under-16 youngster Rohit Danu was at hand to head home the rebound. This was the talented Danu’s third goal of the league campaign.

The Arrows got off to a swift start in the second half, when Rahim slotted the ball past keeper Arshdeep in the Minerva goal off a wonderful team move that was initiated by Danu.

A stunned Minerva, then, finally began to show some urgency and dominated both possession and play from here on end. For all their troubles, substitute Moinuddin, in the 68th minute, scored a stunner of a goal, drilling in a powerful left-footer from the edge of the Arrows box, beating a hapless Prabhsukan Gill in goal.

There were some frayed tempers as Minerva pressed hard for the equaliser, but the Arrows were not to be denied. Minerva boss Paul Munster was sent off after he kicked a ball down the touchline in frustration. 

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