Minerva Punjab were beaten 2-0 by Chennai City at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana in round 15 of the I-League 2017 on Saturday.
The away team started the brighter of the two sides, having plenty of possession in the first half and coming close on a couple of occasions. A long range effort by Chennai midfielder Zakeer Mundampara was palmed away by Arnab Das Sarma in the Minerva goal, as the game began to open up.
Five minutes before half-time, Chennai had their breakthrough as Micheal Soosairaj found himself on the end of a flowing team move before skipping past Das Sarma before slotting it into an empty goal to give his team the lead. The midfielder has also been in good form for his club in the local league as well.
With Minerva needing a goal to level things up, Karanjit Singh pulled off an excellent save to deny Victor Amobi. The visitors then sought to reinforce their midfield by bringing on Darren Caldeira for Lalnun Mawia. The home team then brought on striker Manandeep Singh for Baoringdao Bodo. The two substitutes would then go down after a heavy clash of heads as the game was stopped for a few moments.
Minerva then saw a free-kick hit the woodwork but it would be Chennai with the final laugh as Charles D’Souza’s run on goal as the Brazilian ran through on goal before expertly finishing it in the 95th minute.
With this win, Chennai City now climb into the 7th position with 16 points while Minerva Punjab stay ninth with 12 points. As the cut-off dates for the Federation Cup draw approaches, the top eight teams in the league will participate and at this point it does seem like the newcomers from the South will make the cut.
Minerva Punjab 0 lose to Chennai City 2 (Michael Soosairaj, Charles D’Souza)