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I-League: Minerva Punjab FC look to bounce back against Shillong Lajong

Shillong Lajong will be aiming for a turnaround of fortunes as they face leaders Minerva Punjab FC in an I- League clash in Panchkula on Wednesday.

football Updated: Feb 06, 2018 18:41 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
I-League,Minerva Punjab FC,Shillong Lajong
Minerva Punjab FC will take on Shillong Lajong in Panchkula on Wednesday.(AIFF)

Minerva Punjab FC are all set to debut at their new home ground in Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula against Shillong Lajong on Wednesday. Having shifted base from Ludhiana, Minerva, who were replaced at the top of the I-League table by Neroca FC, will be looking to clinch full points against a struggling Lajong side.

Lajong have been plagued by inconsistency this season and for 19-year-old Samuel Lalmuanpuia, who honed his skills at the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) as a junior, it will be an uphill task to rally his team who currently fifth on the league table.

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Minerva were surprised by Churchill Brothers in the last match and coach Wangkhem Khogen Singh said he is confident of his team returning to winning ways.

“We have a young team and the boys have done a great job till now. I am sure they can pull off a win tomorrow and secure three points. I would not like to drop points at this stage of the league but we have no injury concerns and I am sure we can pull off a win at our new home base,” Singh said.

Minerva have further augmented their side by signing former East Bengal defensive midfielder Bazie Armand who was recently released by the Kolkata giants.

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With no injury concerns, Singh will hope that in-form Frenchman Kassim Aidara, along with Chencho Gyeltshen, William Opoku Aseidu and Gagandeep Bali will do the job for his side.

On the other hand, Lajong coach Bobby Nongbet said it was time that his team forgets the past mistakes and approach the remaining matches with positive intent.

“We have not been consistent enough but I think now is the time to look towards future and play with positive intent. Minerva pose a threat at home but I am sure that my team will respond well in the remaining matches,” he said.

First Published: Feb 06, 2018 18:41 IST