Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Minerva Punjab becomes I-League champion

Minerva Punjab becomes I-League champion

Minerva became the 2nd Punjab side to win the top prize after JCT won the inaugural National Football League (NFL) in 1996-97.

While an outright win will guarantee them the title, even a draw or a loss may still see them through provided the other two outcomes in Kolkata and Kozhikode go accordingly.

East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil on Thursday accepted full responsibility for the club's failure to capture the I-League title despite having it on a plate at one point, saying his planning was not up to the mark. Churchill didn't lose heart going 1-0 down and kept taking the ball forward while creating numerous chances in front of the Minerva goal but they had nothing to show for their efforts. Churchill Brothers are now sitting on 17 points and anything less than a win can't avert the peril for the Goan outfit. Mohun Bagan have shot back into contention thanks to Minerva Punjab's slip-ups lately. Sukhwinder sir congratulated me and told me it's a huge step in Indian football. It's a tough match and whoever will take their chances, will come out as winners. It is not exactly first of such an approach as club owner, Ranjit Bajaj, had earlier revealed that several of his players were approached by bookies for match-fixing.

Hailing their incredible efforts in the victorious season, the Indian football fraternity poured in well wishes for the team. "Only Indian football will benefit from this", Alfred added.

Minerva head coach Khogen Singh simply believes that his side needs to focus on their game rather than keeping an eye on other two matches. We have done the double this year, becoming the only club to win the junior as well senior I-League.

Man United star is still waiting for offer of new contract
I don't negotiate players, I don't discuss numbers and contracts. Anyone of you would say the same: "David is to keep".

"We don't need to think about others, we have to just concentrate on our game". Our aim, our objective, our motto is to win the match.

Not only has the academy policy boosted their ambitions as an individual entity, it also provided four players to India's 21-member final squad for the U-17 World Cup, Anwar Ali, Nongdamba Naorem, Mohammad Shahjahan and Jeakson Singh rising through their ranks. It is a super climax in I-League. "With the rise of underdogs and pulsating matches seeing a shift of power from the traditional power-horses, the I-League has provided all form of entertainment from goal-fest action to last-minute drama", the AIFF said in a statement yesterday. Goalkeeper Kiran Limbu brought his body into play by advancing a couple of times, and Churchill were guilty of snatching at a few shots.

After defeating Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Minerva within the space of a week and rightly earning the tag of "giant-killers", Gokulam are hoping to end their debut season in I-League strongly.

"Mohun Bagan is a big team but for us, we will play with our heart especially tomorrows game".

Like this: