The young Indian Arrows side stunned reigning champions Minerva Punjab at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium to notch-up their fifth win of the I-League and jump to the seventh position in the table.
Arrows’s goals came from Rohit Danu in the first half and Rahim Ali in the second. Moinuddin scored in the 68th minute for Punjab but it went in vain.
Akash Sangwan and Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna started the game for the visitors, replacing Dilliram Sanyasi and Saurav Rautella from their last game against Aizawl.
Floyd Pinto, the Arrows coach, on the other hand, made two changes, bringing in Anwar Ali and KP Rahul in place of Narender and Ninthoi.
Paul Munster’s side dominated possession in the first half but the Arrows had the better scoring opportunities.
Captain Amarjeet Kiyam came close to scoring in the 38th minute, when a long-range strike from him thundered the crossbar. However, u-16 youngster Rohit Danu made no mistake to head home the rebound. This was Danu’s third goal of the campaign.
The Arrows got off to a swift start in the second half and Rahim Ali slotted the ball past keeper Arshdeep in the Minerva goal in a wonderful team move that was initiated by Danu.
A stunned Minerva then finally began to show some urgency and dominated both possession and play from here on end. For all their troubles, substitute Moinuddin, in the 68th minute, scored a stunner of a goal, drilling in a powerful left-footer from the edge of the Arrows box, beating a hapless Prabhsukan Gill in goal.
There were some frayed tempers as Minerva pressed hard for the equaliser, but the Arrows were not to be denied. Munster was sent off after he kicked a ball down the touchline in frustration.