Aizawl, November 10: Defending champions Minerva Punjab FC registered their first win of the 12th Hero I-League campaign, overcoming Aizawl FC 2-1 on the artificial turf of the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Aizawl on Saturday (November 10).
Two headers off two corners by centre-back Lancine Toure ensured that despite a late penalty conversion by Leonce Dodoz for the home side, the 'Warriors’ from Punjab logged a full three points from a spirited encounter.
The defending champions were clearly bolstered by the induction of two Nigerians, Donatus Edafe and Bala Alihassan Dahir, the former in particular having a huge impact on Minerva’s performance compared to their last two games.
Hosts’ coach Gift Raikhan started Ivorian Dodoz and David Lalrinmuana on the day in place of Albert and Lalrinfela while Minerva brought in Bala Dahir and Edafe, replacing them with Akash Sangwan and Makan Chothe as well as Moinuddin in place of Ivorian Alexandre who had begun the last game.
In the second match of the day, Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka, the top scorer of the last two editions of Hero I-League, opened his account with a brace of goals against the Indian Arrows, as Kolkata giants and former champions Mohun Bagan registered their first win of this year’s edition at Cuttack’s Barabati stadium on Saturday (November 10).
Dicka’s two first-half strikes, the second off a penalty, pulled Bagan up to the third spot in the league standings with five points from three games. The Arrows suffered their second loss and remain on three points, courtesy their win against Shillong Lajong at the same venue.
Floyd Pinto, the Arrows coach began with an unchanged eleven while Sankarlal Chakraborty of Mohun Bagan brought in Shilton Paul in goal in place of Sankar Roy.
Source: Hero I League