Minerva Punjab FC vs Churchill Brothers, I-League 2017-18, highlights: Minerva claim maiden title
Get highlights of Minerva Punjab FC vs Churchill Brothers, I-League 2017-18 here. Minerva Punjab registered a 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers to lift their maiden I-League title.football Updated: Mar 08, 2018 17:23 IST
Minerva Punjab FC beat Churchill Brothers 1-0 in their final I-League game in Panchkula on Thursday to claim the title. Khogen Singh’s side, who are only in their second season in Indian football’s top-flight league, emerged on top of what was a four-way race between them, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and NEROCA FC. Either of the four sides could have won the title had certain results played out differently but it was the only North Indian side in the tournament who got the job done. Gokulam Kerala drew 1-1 with Mohun Bagan whilst East Benga;l held NEROCA to a 1-1 draw. Get highlights of Minerva Punjab FC vs Churchill Brothers, I-League 2017-18 here.
5:10 PM IST: That’s all from our side. Until next time, goodbye!
5:07 PM IST: The Minerva Punjab FC players are celebrating deliriously with the trophy now. What an achievement for them this is.
5:00 PM IST: And that’s it! Minerva win the I-League for the first time in their history!
4:53 PM IST: 6 minutes have been added on in Panchkula.
4:48 PM IST: The second half has seen a decline in goal-scoring chances. Not that Minerva fans will complain!
4:43 PM IST: We have now entered the last 10 minutes of all games now and Minerva are inching closer to lifting their maiden I-League title.
4:38 PM IST: GOAL! East Bengal are back on level terms thanks to Dudu.
4:35 PM IST: Meanwhile, Gokulam continue to pile the pressure on Mohun Bagan but the game is still deadlocked at 1-1.
4:31 PM IST: With a little over 20 minutes to go now, Minerva look set to lift the I-League 2017-18.
4:26 PM IST: The game has slowed down considerably now. Churchill need to inject some speed into their attacks if they are to have any chance of scoring.
4:19 PM IST: Minerva have settled in to a decent rhythm as of now. They don’t need to constantly press forward to look for another at this point.
4:15 PM IST: Scorelines currently remain the same in all games. That’s something which will please Minerva Punjab fans very much.
4:11 PM IST: Minerva come very close to scoring a second! A well-delivered corner finds Chencho, but his header goes wide.
4:08 PM IST: The second half is underway in all games. As things stand, Minerva are only 45 minutes away from being crowned champions.
4:02 PM IST: The second half in all games will begin very shortly. Should Churchill be able to pull a goal back, things would become very interesting again.
3:52 PM IST: Half-time in all games now, and the scores are as follows: Minerva 1-0 Churchill, Gokulam 1-1 Bagan, East Bengal 0-1 NEROCA. As things stand, Minerva will win the title with NEROCA finishing second. Bagan will finish 3rd whilst East Bengal round up the top 4.
3:49 PM IST: GOAL! Henry Kisekka has equalised for Gokulam Kerala vs Bagan on the stroke of half-time.
3:45 PM IST: And Justin’s missed attempt comes back to haunt East Bengal as NEROCA now lead! Felix Odili gives the away side the lead.
3:42 PM IST: Meanwhile, Jobby Justin has just missed an absolute sitter for East Bengal. Open goal, few yards out... and his attempt went out for a goal-kick.
3:36 PM IST: With a little over 10 minutes to go in the first half, Minerva Punjab are exactly where they wanted to be: in the lead and dominating the game.
3:33 PM IST: Oh dear. Things are getting ugly at Panchkula, as a fight has erupted between the two sides with many team-mates and referees needed to intervene to restore some calm.
3:30 PM IST: The game between East Bengal and NEROCA remains goalless as of now. Meanwhile, Minerva continue to look threatening going forward. Wouldn’t be surprising if they scored a second.
3:26 PM IST: Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan have taken the lead vs Gokulam Kerala courtesy of Dipanda Dicka.
3:23 PM IST: SAVE! Chemzong is called into action and he does well to preserve Minerva’s lead. The resulting corner also comes to nothing. As things stand, Minerva Punjab will be your next I-League champions.
3:20 PM IST: GOAL! Minerva lead 1-0! You can’t say it wasn’t coming. Some bad goalkeeping from Cardozo as he spills the ball, giving William Asiedu the simplest of tap-ins. He hammers it home as the Minerva bench erupts in joy.
3:18 PM IST: Girik Khosla with a decent chance there! The Punjab winger gets a free header from close range but his attempt goes just wide.
3:14 PM IST: The Panchkula ground isn’t exactly conducive to free-flowing football. The number of patches all over the field won’t make it easy on either side.
3:10 PM IST: Minerva are beginning to trouble Churchill’s defence a bit more now. Meanwhile, the other games remain goalless at this point.
3:07 PM IST: The game has started off quickly but neither side have a clear advantage just yet. Minerva will look to take an early lead to quell the nerves.
3:02 PM IST: The referee blows his whistle and we are underway!
2:57 PM IST: The players have emerged onto the field. This is a big match for both sides; Churchill need a win today to avoid relegation.
2:50 PM IST: We are now just 10 minutes away from the beginning of an exciting final round of the I-League 2017-18!
2:40 PM IST: Minerva Punjab winning the title would be a fairytale ending for the I-League, but that would also be the case if NEROCA FC somehow managed to win it. To do so, they will need to beat East Bengal whilst hoping that both Minerva and Mohun Bagan drop points.
2:30 PM IST: East Bengal can win their first-ever I-League title should they beat NEROCA FC and both Minerva Punjab and Mohun Bagan lose their respective games. It’s a tricky situation for the Kolkata club, but it can’t be entirely ruled out either.
2:25 PM IST: This isn’t the first time the I-League title has been decided on the final day, but it is the first time four teams can potentially win the crown. Who will emerge victorious? We shall find out soon enough.
2:13 PM IST: Churchill Brothers starting XI: Ricardo Cardozo, Onyeama Okechukwu, Willis Plaza, Yendrembam Meitei, Osagie Monday, Visalie Mezhu, Dawda Ceesay, Britto P M, Israil Gurung, Richard Costa, Hussein Eldor.
2:10 PM IST: Minerva Punjab starting XI: Sukhdev Singh, Chencho Gyeltshen, Girik Mahesh Khosla, Kassim Aidara, Akashdeep Singh, Akash Sangwan, Kamalpreet Singh, Guy Eric Dano, Kiran Kumar Limbu, William Opoku Asiedu. Amandeep Singh.
2:00 PM IST: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the final day of I-League 2017-18 matches!
If Minerva lose or draw, then they will not emerge as I-League winners this season. However, the permutations and combinations for the remaining three sides aren’t that simple. East Bengal must beat NEROCA and hope that both Mohun Bagan and Minerva Punjab drop points. Mohun Bagan, in turn, must win their match against Gokulam Kerala and hope East Bengal beat NEROCA whilst Minerva Punjab lose vs Churchill.
If NEROCA want to win the I-League in their debut season, they will have to emerge victorious against East Bengal and hope Churchill can get either a win or a draw against Minerva. These multiple possibilities will make for a thrilling final day of I-League action in a season that has been very unpredictable thus far.