Shillong Lajong beat Minerva Punjab FC 2-1 to sneak into the top four in the I-League points table at the Guru Nanak Stadium on Tuesday.
Samuel Lalmuanpuia (27th) opened scoring for the visitors but Karim Nurain (36th) drew parity nine minutes later. Fabio Pena (45th) scored another for Lajong at the stroke of the half-time which eventually made the difference between the two teams.
Minerva Punjab FC started confidently after their narrow defeat to the reigning champions Bengaluru FC in their last game and started to enjoy the lion’s share of possession during the first phase of the match.
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Three minutes before the half-hour mark, Samuel drew the first blood for the visitors. Within 10 minutes, Minerva striker Kareem Nurain stunned the high-flying visitors with a sublime spot-kick to level the scoreline.
Eventually, Lajong’s Brazilian striker Fabio Pena struck again to leave the home side trailing at the break.
In the second half, Lajong started to attack in numbers utilising both their flanks. Fabio Pena played a vital role in organising the attacking strength of the visitors.
Kaith played a tremendous game under the posts earning his team invaluable three points. Minerva came close to scoring from Kareem’s shot but his effort was blocked by Lajong’s resilient backline.
Towards the end, Lajong hit the gas and Minerva box was flooded by several attacking moves by the visitors.
With the win, Lajong sneaked into the top four with 19 points from 12 outings while Minerva Punjab FC plunged to the eighth spot having gathered eight points less.