CHANDIGARH: Minerva Academy FC registered their first home victory today as they grabbed a 2-1 win over Lonestar Kashmir FC at the Sector -17 stadium in Chandigarh.
Atinder Mani gave the visitors the lead in the 63rd minute before a Bala Dahir shot was deflected off Vinay Kumar to cancel the visitors’ lead. The own goal was scored in the 73rd minute and 5 minutes later, Bala drove home which eventually turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
Coach Surinder Singh made five changes to the line-up that started against Dempo SC in the last match. Left winger Prabhjot Singh, Midfield maestro Bala Al-Hassan, Amandeep Singh, Waris Rashid and Pawandeep Singh made the start today.
The home side initially took a time to settle down against the rampant Kashmir team that attacked from the first whistle. But once the Chandigarh side found their foot, they started dominating.
The match went into the break with the deadlock intact.
The second half resumed with Minerva FC coming out all guns blazing. Simranjeet Singh and Dilliram were introduced to give more thrust in the attacking third. The attacks and chances did continue to come but the goal continued to elude the Minervans.
But much against the run of play, in the 63rd minute, Atinder Mani broke the deadlock. A defensive lapse from the Minervans allowed the pacy winger to intrude the home side’s citadel to score the goal.
Within ten minutes, Bala Al-Hassan latched on to a cross from the right and unleashed a powerful shot, which was deflected off Vijay Kumar, giving the Kashmir FC keeper no chance to stop the ball.
In the 79th minute, Bala was again fed on with a through ball by Sehijpal, which the former controlled with beauty to slot it past the on-rushing goalkeeper to send the crowd into the rupture.
With 10 minutes to go, Kashmir attacked relentlessly, searching for the equalisers while the Minervans looked for more. But neither succeeded in scoring more as both the side’s defence stood tall.
At the final whistle, Minerva Academy FC had the last laugh, winning the match with a 2-1 victory.
The win means that the Punjab team are on 8 points, equalled with Neroca FC with one match in hand. Dempo SC, on the other hand, have gathered 13 points from 6 matches.
– Minerva Academy FC Media