Anirudh Thapa scored the winner as the Punjavb outfit defeated Mumbai FC…
Host Minerva Punjab FC, after a revamped performance against in-form Churchill Brothers FC Goa to a draw on Wednesday, toppled Mumbai FC by 2-1 to register their first win in Hero I-League on their debut season.
Youngsters Baoringdao Bodo (57′) and Anirudh Thapa (66′) struck in the second half to dash Santosh Kashyap’s desire to turn the table against the newbies. Albeit Karan Sawhney (77′) minimised the gap, it couldn’t deter the Punjab outfit from clinching their maiden win in the premier football league in the nation.
Mumbai FC, banking on Kashyap’s innovative 3-1-4-2 formation, were led by Densill Theobald. Minerva army was led by Kareem and Minerva Punjab FC opted to field a 4-3-3 formation to kill the “like Catenaccio” formation played by Santosh Kashyap.
The first half saw an end-to-end action where Minerva FC came twice to scoring and Mumbai FC was on the brink of scoring once when veteran international Steven Dias slotted a volley just inches over the target. Victor Amobi continued his string of venomous sprints along the flanks while Anirudh Thapa played the Central midfield region supporting the young striker Bodo up started ahead of Ivan Filatov.
Thoi Singh was not available for Mumbai FC after having gone for his own wedding and Victorino being injured.
There was no difference between the two teams in the first 45 minutes.
The second half kicked off with more urgency and both teams were eager to break the deadlock.
Tackles came flying end to end as Arashpreet was booked for a challenge on Steven Dias and C Fernandes being booked. Minerva managed to score their first goal after a deflected cross from Anirudh Thapa when Bodo was there at the right place at the right time.
The next one came in quick succession for the home team after Thapa scored a freekick goal which landed on goal beating Kattimani in the far post.
Mumbai went more attacking and also played high pressing on Minerva defence and it was all down to Steven Dias’s Inswinging corner which was headed on to goal by Sawhney and beating Arnab Das, the custodian.
Thapa was also awarded the Hero of the match trophy for his sparkling display. With today’s win, Minerva Punjab FC leapfrog Chennai City FC to the ninth spot in the table with five points whereas Mumbai FC continue their quest for the elusive point following consecutive five defeats in the league.