Minerva Punjab came from behind to beat Chennai City 2-1 at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab tonight. Having conceded an early goal in the fourth minute by Joachim of Chennai City FC, Minerva Punjab FC struck twice in the second half as William Asiedu (48′) and skipper Kassim Aidara (59′) found the back of the net to steal all three points.
To call it just a football match would be an understatement. It was cold, it was raining and the players were clearly feeling the chills on a typical wintery night in Punjab. It was far from your ideal football game but surely one hell of a fixture in terms of entertainment.
Minerva made two changes in the starting lineup today with Randeep and Sukhdev making way for Souvik and Gagandeep Bali respectively.
Chennai City started the game brightly with ruthless aggression which took Minerva Punjab by surprise. The defensive pair of Gagandeep and Dano didn’t look too comfortable. Taking advantage of this defensive unbalance, Chennai City took the lead in the 4th minute itself through Jean-Michel Joachim.
Chennai could have gone 2-0 up in the 22nd minute if it wasn’t for Abhishek’s tackle just at the right moment inside his own penalty box. Khogen Singh opted to substitute midfielder Amandeep in place of Souvik Das in the 41st minute in an attempt to change something desperately.
The first half ended at 0-1 in favour of Chennai City. Minerva, on the other hand, were lacking inspiration of any sort. The rain and cold weather was making things even more difficult.
As soon as the second half began you could sense that Minerva Punjab was up for something. They were rewarded with this change of attitude in the 48th minute when William struck from 10 yards out from the rebound to equalize the game.
11 minutes later Minerva took the lead in 59th minute through Kassim’s diving header. He dived to full length ahead of his marker to head the ball inside the 6-yard box giving no chance to the keeper.
Chennai head coach made three quick substitutions in order to turn things around but Minerva Punjab restrained the pressure to come out on top once again.
Kassim was adjudged the Hero of the Match tonight. With this win, Minerva Punjab are on 10 points in 4 matches and regain their top spot from Mohun Bagan.
William Opoku Asiedu and Kassim Aidara scored one each in the second half to secure a well deserve win.
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