Buoyant Arrows ready for Minerva challenge

The Indian Arrows will face a stiff challenge from Minerva Punjab in the pair's I-League clash on Tuesday, as both of them come into the tie off sounding wins.

The Indian Arrows side goes into Tuesday's tie after a sounding 3-0 win over Chennai City FC in its opening I-League encounter.   -  AIFF

Indian Arrows will go into Tuesday's I-League tie against Minerva Punjab FC riding on the confidence it derived from a massive 3-0 win against Chennai City FC. Both teams have a very young side and it is certain to be an exciting clash.

The game will also see Arrows' Jeakson Singh and Anwar Ali face their former club Minerva for the first time.

Ahead of the game, Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos, said the side is fully prepared for the challenge.

“Every game is a different story and I think Minerva and the other teams will look at us in a different way. I think they will come more prepared. They won’t come and say that these players are young, they will say that they must play hundred percent to beat our team. We also have to play hundred percent to beat Minerva,” said Matos during the pre-match press conference.

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Aniket Jadhav scored a brace and Boris Singh was on target while the side managed to keep a clean sheet against the Chennai team. The coach also focused on areas his team had to concentrate on.

“Our mentality tomorrow is to try to win the game. Try to play better. The main things are to not make mistakes and the concentration should be top,” Matos conceded.

It was an impressive performance where the boys showed their killer instinct and Minerva coach Khogen Singh is wary of that. “In the match against Chennai City, they were extremely good in the counter attacks. We have to be careful about this,” Singh said. ”It is an away game and we have to be careful in the defence,” he added.

Matos fielded ten players from the team that was part of the Under-17 World Cup with only Edmund Lalrindika from the U-19 squad for the first game and hinted that he would retain the same playing eleven as the first game provided there are no injuries.

Meanwhile, Khogen identified Aniket as the biggest threat on Tuesday.

Minerva won’t be pushovers as it comes into the game unbeaten, having held the mighty Mohun Bagan 1-1 before a 2-1 win against Neroca FC in its first two games at home. In both the games, the Ludhiana-based club rallied back after falling behind and it would be up for a fight against Matos’ young side.

Minerva’s Bhutanese forward Chencho Gyeltshen will be the one to watch out for. Chencho scored one and set-up the second in the win against Neroca FC.

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“It would be an interesting game. They have shown that they are a very good team. We have come here to get three points,” Chencho said.

Minerva does not have any injury concerns while Matos has injury concerns surrounding three players- Namgyal Bhutia, Abhishek Halder, and Lalengmawia.

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