Minerva Punjab and Mohun Bagan finished all square in a thrilling Hero I-League 2017/18 Opener
The season opener game of the 11th edition of Hero I-League ended in a perfect fashion.Mohun Bagan were cruising to victory with a 1-0 lead but a very late equalizer from Minerva Punjab resulted in shared points in Ludhiana.
Before the game began, a minute of silence was observed for the former All India Football Federation President Shri P.R. Dasmunsi, who passed away recently. Minerva Punjab looked more dominating in the first half and kept most of the possession.
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, were more alert and played with caution. All the attack of Minerva came from the left flank in the early moments where Bhutanese forward Chencho tried to break up the Mohun Bagan defense multiple times but failed each time. Sony Norde had a good opportunity to give the away side a lead in the 29th minute but his free-kick just missed the left corner of the goal post. A sheer moment of brilliance from Sony Norde against the run of play in the 42ndminute lead to the first goal of the game. Norde received the ball just ahead of the central defenders, he quickly dribbled the ball to the left beating Dano with his pace before slotting the ball in the bottom left corner.
At the end of half-time away side Mohun Bagan lead by a goal to nil against the home team Minerva Punjab.
As soon as the second half began there was a sense of urgency in Minerva Punjab´s attack. Half-time substitute Lago who came in place of Japanese Toshiya was the center of the action. First, he missed an open chance created by Girik Khosla after a goal-line clearance by Mohun Bagan defense and then moments later he hit the post from the corner in 58th minute.
The first half goal scorer and Mohun Bagan sharpshooter Sony Norde created another goalscoring opportunity in the 63rd minute but second-half substitute Faiaz couldn´t connect to his low cross in front of the empty net. This missed opportunity came to haunt Mohun Bagan later on in the game when Minerva´s second-half substitute Moinuddin scored a volley in the 89th minute to level the match. Moinuddin quickly moved away from his marker struck the ball sweetly into the bottom left side of the net.
There weren´t any major chances for both teams after the equalizer and the full-time scoreline read Minerva Punjab 1-1 Mohun Bagan.
Moinuddin Khan scored a late goal for Minerva to snatch a point from Mariners in the opening match of the Hero I-league.