I-League: Minerva inching closer to title

Chennai City FC hosts table-topper Minerva Punjab FC on Friday and a win will take the latter closer to lifting the I-league title.

Minerva Punjab FC will also come out all guns blazing against Chennai City FC on Friday as a victory may tilt the scales of lifting the title strongly in its favour.   -  AIFF Media

It’s going to be really hot for Chennai City FC (CCFC) against table-topper Minerva Punjab FC. But a bit of planning and a cool head is what it needs to swing the tide in its favour as it gets ready for its final I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

CCFC’s confidence was on a high after a 3-1 win over Churchill Brothers, its first at home, earlier last month.

It was expected to call the shots from there, but the “casual approach”, as the head coach V. Soundararajan pointed out, cost the team dear and it returned home last week from Kolkata bruised and battered.

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The 7-1 thrashing at the hands of East Bengal is still fresh on the minds of the CCFC stars. They would really want to wipe away those bitter memories with a win over Minerva, a aise has surprised everyone this season, including CCFC in December last year.

“Our stopper-backs failed to inspire but there’s no room for excuses. It was a big defeat and we have certainly learnt our lessons. Obviously, we want to win tomorrow and build our reputation. I have told my boys to put those relegation fears behind and sign off with a second win at home,” said Soundararajan.

Ball possession

He said Minerva’s big advantage is maintaining ball possession. “We need to cut that short and force a win. I have explained that to them clearly and I believe they will live up to the challenge.”

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Minerva will also come out all guns blazing as a victory may tilt the scales of lifting the title strongly in its favour. “We have a set of intelligent players who have done the job so far. They think and play as a team,” said head coach Wangkhem Khogen Singh.

“But we do not want to underestimate our opponent. They have some good players too and we respect them as much,” he added.