Shillong, May 29: Minerva Punjab won their fourth Junior League title in a row after beating Bengaluru FC in the final at the Kalyani Stadium in Kolkata today.
India junior internationals Himanshu Jangra and Maheson Singh scored two second half goals for Minerva, who not only retained their title but also ended Bengaluru’s 12-match winning streak.
Minerva had defeated Shillong Lajong 2-0 in the semifinals on Monday. Bengaluru, meanwhile, had two Meghalaya players in their ranks – Lastborn Mawphniang and Damaitphang Lyngdoh – both of whom played today.
Contrary to the scoreline, it was Bengaluru who had the better momentum in search of a goal. However, Minerva also planned their counterattacks well, but the two teams went into the break 0-0.
Minerva then came out firing on all cylinders. A couple of minutes after the restart, Jangra broke free of the defence and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to put Minerva into the lead.
That gave them more impetus, and it took them around another 20 minutes to double their lead. A cross from the right was headed onto the crossbar, before Maheson’s header on the rebound was blocked by Bengaluru keeper Dipesh Chauhan. However, Maheson was alert and nodded another rebound into the goal.
From then on, it was a frantic flurry of attacks by Bengaluru that were seen off by the Minerva defence. Minerva played on the counter and even managed to rattle the crossbar a couple of times. In the end, those two goals were enough to take the side from Chandigarh to their fourth successive Junior League victory.
(Photo: All India Football Federation)