Minerva Punjab FC
AFC Cup 2019: Thoiba Singh scripts history as Minerva Punjab share spoils with Manang Marshyangdi
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The 17-year-old became the youngest Indian goal scorer in the history of the tournament as he scored the only goal for the Warriors.
It was a great strike from Thoiba Singh which handed the lead to the visitors.However, a moment of madness from defender Prateek Joshi saw them get reduced to ten men for the entirety of the second half. The hosts were down and out but they restored parity from a controversial headed goal scored by Shaheed Azeez. Thoiba Singh scored late in the game but was again controversially judged offside as both clubs shared the spoils at the final whistle.
Watch: Manang Marshyangdi 1-1 Minerva Punjab highlights
Here are the player ratings from the match.
Minerva Punjab FC
Arshdeep Singh- 6.0
The young custodian looked confident right from the start as he marshalled his defenders pretty well. He did not have much to do in the first half and even in the goal he conceded he was fouled by a Manang player which the referee failed to spot.
Prateek Joshi- 4.0
He was struggling to contain the Manang wingers and was bringing them down with rash challenges. He was booked in the 41st minute and despite being warned he brought another player down unfairly and got sent off in the dying minutes of the first half.
Kareem Omolaja - 5.5
Kareem was not at his best today as he was beaten by several Manang players. He also looked a bit tired in the second half. The Minerva Punjab skipper was caught off guard as he allowed two opposition players in the box to remain unmarked as the cross came in and it resulted in the equaliser.
Robert Primus- 6.5
Robert was exceptional in defence as he came up with crucial interceptions and did not hesitate to put his body on the line in front goal. He has pushed up the field on the dying minutes of the game and he made a surging run and freed Moinuddin on the left flank, as the forward scuffed his shot wide.
Akashdeep Singh- 5.5
Akashdeep had a mixed outing, he was pretty good defensively but very average in defence. He was beaten time and again by Abhishek Rijal with his quick footwork and blistering pace.
Thoiba Singh- 7.0
He is definitely one of the most promising talents in India right now. Thoiba was extremely calm and composed in the midfield and retained possession really well. he also maintained a balance in his work rate as the visitors were a man down. His goal in the first half proves that he is way more matured compared to the players of his age.
Kalif Al Hassan- 6.5
Kalif was Minerva's best player in the game and it was unfortunate that he could not continue till the final whistle. But he was simply a rock in the middle and his ball retention and interceptions were very vital for the visitors. He acted as the shield which the Minerva Punjab defence needed with a man down.
For an experienced campaigner like Amandeep, this was a very average performance. The midfielder failed to provide any support to Kalif and Thoiba in the heart of the midfield, as he lost possession way too many times. He was the weak link in the midfield which Manang players capitalized in the second half.
Makan Winkle Chothe- 6.0
Chothe had a decent outing but according to his standards, he could have done a lot better. He got the better of Mahajan on several occasions but the final ball in the box still needs a lot of improvement. He was replaced by Akash Sangwan late in the 83rd minute.
Samuel Lalmuanpuia- 6.0
Samuela was fielded in the left flank and he played as an inverted winger and with every opportunity he drifted inside trying to break the Manang defence. He had a great opportunity in the first half but was denied by the Manang goalkeeper. He was subbed off for Moinuddin Khan during the half way through the second half.
Sreyas Gopalan- 6.0
The youngster proved his mettle as he led the Minerva Punjab attack. Having already scored for the Warriors he was already in fine form and Sachin Badadhe showed his trust in him. He could not find the net but was decent with his movements and through ball. He freed up Chothe and Samuela on numerous occasions until he got replaced by Harminder Singh.
Moinuddin Khan- 5.5
Replaced Samuel in the second half as the visitors went ahead with a more direct approach in the attack. He failed to put in the shift that was provided by Samuela and made took some hasty decisions in the final third.
Harminder Singh- 5.0
Replaced Sreyas Gopalan in the 74th minute as Sachin Badadhe wanted to take the physical approach. Harminder caused problems with his physicality in the beginning but the hosts tackled him well and kept him quiet.
Akash Sangwan- N/A
Came into play in place of Makan Chothe at the 83rd minute and failed to make an impact in the game.
Manang Marshyangdi Club
Bishal Shrestha- 6.0
One of the better players for the hosts, as he denied Kalif and Samuela from goal scoring position. Shrestha simply kept his side in the game and his saves were crucial as they managed to salvage a point out of the fixture.
Kamal Shrestha- 6.0
Struggled throughout the game to keep with Samuela's quick feet and trickery. However, with Moinuddin Khan's arrival in the second half, he was more comfortable and read the situation pretty well from there on.
Devendra Tamang- 4.5
Tamang was out of position time and again and hardly had any understanding with his fellow defenders, leaving them under pressure. He failed to maintain uniformity in the last line of defence and struggled to get the better of Minerva's physical forwards.
Shaheed Azeez- 6.5
The man of the moment for the hosts as he was definitely their best player. He marshalled the defence pretty well and acted as a leader that they desperately needed. He also came up with a controversial header to restore parity and hand them a point from the crucial fixture.
Biraj Mahajan- 5.5
The veteran defender failed to live up to his expectations and was beaten by Makan Chothe at will. He struggled ot keep up with his pace and allowed the youngster to run in behind the defence in the right flank.
Bishal Rai- 5.5
Bishal Rai formed the two-man midfield in front of the defence and Rai was very average as he was constantly dominated by Kalif Al Hassan in the heart of the midfield. Rai failed to create the transition in play and was outplayed by Kalif 's dynamic swagger.
Sujal Shrestha- 6.0
Better than his fellow midfielders but nothing exceptional. His passes were mostly sideways or backwards as he avoided the risk of losing possession. Hence there was no penetrative passing from the Manang midfielders.
Abhishek Rijal- 6.0
Caused a lot of problems for the Warriors from the right flank. Just like his flamboyant hairstyle, his runs down the flank were full of flamboyance. The 19-year old winger is for sure a talent to watch out for in Nepal.
Oluwaunmi Somide- 5.0
The man who saved them from the blushes in the last encounter played very drab and uninspiring football in the home leg. He was neutralized by Robert Primus throughout the match, as he failed to make his smart movements in the final third.
Anjan Bista - 6.0
Another young talent who showed glimpses of his brilliance in the game. Bista is good with the ball at his feet and his movements can deceive any opposition defenders. However, he was muscled out by Kareem and Primus at times as he struggled on the physical side of things. While some of his crosses caused problems for the Minerva defenders.
Olawale Oladipo- 5.5
The Nigerian marksman did hold the ball pretty well when he had almost no one in support throughout the game. he went head-on with the Minerva defenders and performed pretty well but he failed to play any part in impacting it onto the scoreline.
Heman Gurung- 6.0
Replaced Rai in the second half and was far better than him. He did put in a shift and controlled the tempo of his team which allowed them to open up the play and create chances late in the second half.
Bimal Rana- 5.5
Replaced Abhishek Rijal in the 74th minute as the hosts were in dire need of fresh legs. His lightning pace caused problems for Akashdeep in the right flank.
Bishwakarma Suraj- N/A
Replaced Kamal Shrestha in the last minute of the match.
Published: Wed May 15, 2019 11:52 PM IST