Minerva Punjab were crowned I-League champions in their inaugural season after they beat Churchill Brothers 1-0 in their final encounter Chandigarh, Panchkula on Thursday. In a must win encounter, Minerva were up to the task as they went ahead 1-0 in the first half of the match as Asiedu William scored the only goal of the match.
The club is only in its second season in top-flight football. Minerva Punjab entered the final day’s game with 32 points from 17 matches, and they were closely followed by Neroca FC, Mohun Bagan and east Bengal. They are the second side from Punjab to win the top prize, the erstwhile JCT having won the inaugural National Football League in 1996-17. The loss also ensured Churchill Brothers’ relegation to the second division.
East Bengal draw
East Bengal came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Neroca FC in the second encounter of the day. Dudu Omagbemi’s 72nd minute header off a Lalramchullova assist helped East Bengal salvage a draw. Felic Chidi Odili had put Neroca in the front a few minutes before the end of first half. He evaded the one East Bengal defender inside their box, ran towards his left and tapped the ball in. East Bengal would rue the few chances they missed in the first half as their wait to win the title since 2004 continues.