I-League: Minerva Punjab get maiden win, Mohun Bagan beat Aizawl

Debutants Minerva Punjab FC defeated Mumbai FC 2-1 in Ludhiana on Saturday to register their first ever win in the I-League.

Second-half goals from youngsters Baoringdao Bodo (57') and Anirudh Thapa (66') dashed Santosh Kashyap's hopes of a win, while Karan Sawhney managed to pull one back for Mumbai in the 77th minute.

There was little to separate the teams in the first half. Minerva, opting for a 4-3-3 formation, came close to scoring twice in the first half while Mumbai, with a 3-1-4-2 formation, had one chance when veteran international Steven Dias slotted a volley inches over the target. Victor Amobi continued his string of sprints along the flanks while Anirudh Thapa in midfield supported Bodo, who started ahead of Ivan Filatov.

The second half kicked off with greater urgency as both teams looked to break the deadlock.

Minerva took the lead after a deflected cross from Anirudh Thapa found Bodo at the right place and at the right time. The next goal came when Thapa scored from a free-kick which beat Kattimani in the far post.

Mumbai cut the deficit in half when Steven Dias's inswinging corner was headed in by Sawhney past goalkeeper Arnab Das.

Thapa was awarded the Hero of the match trophy for his sparkling display. With the win, Minerva leapfrog Chennai City FC to the ninth spot in the table with five points whereas Mumbai FC's losing streak extended to five defeats.

Mohun Bagan beat Aizawl

Mohun Bagan kept the pressure on East Bengal ahead of the Kolkata Derby with a 3-2 win over Aizawl FC in the I-League game at Kolkata's Rabindra Sarovar Stadium on Saturday.

Darryl Duffy leapt to the top of the scoring chart with a brace and Jeje Lalpekhlua also scored but it was Aizawl who impressed, coming from behind twice through Jayesh Rane and Ashutosh Mehta.

The hosts took the lead in just the second minute after Yusa Katsumi received a ball from Sehnaj Singh on the left channel and crossed it for a lurking Duffy, who got past Kingsley Eze to score off a header.

Five minutes later, Jeje took a swipe from the centre circle which tested keeper Albino Gomes, who collected the dipping ball on the goal line.

Bagan had a chance to double their lead in the 24th minute when Bose's low cross was fisted away by Gomes but only as far as Prabir, who had an open net in front of him but skied his attempt.

In the 27th minute, Alfred Jaryan had a good chance to equalise from just outside the box with a dipping effort which fizzed just over.

But the visitors, who started the match second in the points table, drew level four minutes to halftime when Kamo Bayi squared the ball from inside the box to leave Debjit Mazumder hugging the turf with Rane prodding into an open goal.

The teams were 1-1 at halftime.

In the 63rd minute, Jeje scored with a left-footed shot off a square ball from Prabir Das, who had Pronay Halder to thank for a perfect through ball.

Aizawl came back once again, this time Mehta heading in a Rane corner to make it 2-2.

But the former Mumbai FC man turned villain four minutes later, bringing down Katsumi inside the box to hand the rivals a penalty. Duffy coolly tucked in from the spot and Bagan were saved the blushes, keeping the pressure on their arch-rivals who remain on top owing to better goal difference.