Minerva Punjab FC continued their unbeaten run in the I-League 2017-18 as they beat Indian Arrows 2-0 at the Athletic Stadium, Bambolim on Tuesday. William Opoku Asiedu scored a goal in each half to guide his team to victory.
There were two changes in the Indian Arrows first XI as Deepak Tangri and Abhijit Sarkar replaced Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh, while Nongdamba Naorem also wasn't able to play against his former club due to the loan transfer agreement between the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Minerva Punjab.
Three changes in the visitors' starting line-up saw goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar replace the injured Arshpreet Singh. The inclusion of defender Kamalpreet Singh and Ghanaian midfielder William Opoku Asiedu in place of Deepak Devrani and Gagandeep Singh were the other two changes.
Luis Norton de Matos lined up in a 4-5-1 formation again with Edmund Lalrindika as the lone striker while Wangkhem Khogen Singh's side played in a 4-2-3-1 with William just behind main striker Lago Bei.
Barely a minute into the game, the play had to be paused on as two of the four floodlights went off. The game resumed 10 minutes after all the lights came back on.
It didn't take too long for the visitors to take the lead after Chencho Gyeltshen's attempt was blocked by Rahul K.P.
Girik Mahesh Khosla laid it for William after a long throw-in by Sukhdev Singh and the powerful long-ranger by the Ghanaian found the back of the net to put Minerva 1-0 up.
The second half resumed with Dheeraj diving to his left to keep out Aidara's header that was well on target while Boris had a better showing against the runs of Chencho from the left channel.
Abhijit missed one more glorious opportunity to score as he slammed the indirect free-kick taken by Sanjeev Stalin right down the throat of Rakshit, who had handled a back-pass by Sukhdev inside the box.
Rahul too missed a spectacular chance as he wasn't able to connect to Edmund's cross from the left with only the goalkeeper to beat. Another chance created from the right side by Edmund again and Abhijit criminally shot wide from inside the box.
The upright saved the Arrows when Dheeraj was off his line. William's effort came off the woodwork after Tangri had mistimed his challenge.
William brushed aside Jitendra and slotted the ball at the back of the net this time from Chencho's cross in the 84th minute to seal the win that takes Minerva Punjab atop the standing.