I-League 2017/18: Minerva Punjab coach Khogen Singh feels absence of Sony Norde is an advantage for them
What's the story?
Minerva Punjab has been the surprise element in the ongoing season of the I-League and is also a possible contender for the title. They are scheduled to play a vital away match against Mohun Bagan on Wednesday at the Salt Lake stadium. Minerva coach Khogen Singh feels that the absence of Haitian winger Sony Norde will be an added advantage for them as he is a very “strong” player.
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Minerva Punjab is currently placed at the second spot in the standings with 16 pints form matches. A win in their next tie will see them surpass East Bengal and place them on top with 19 points. With 5 wins from 7 games, they are looking as good as any of the big teams, but the question is how long can they continue their run.
The heart of the matter
During the pre-match conference at the Bagan tent, Minerva’s coach expressed that playing against the Kolkata giants is always a tough ask but not facing the likes of Sony Norde will make work easy.
“They are a good side... most of their players are good. They are strong in the attacking zone.We have an advantage of this (Sony not playing) because Sony is a very good player, powerful player with a lot of quality. Absence of him is a great advantage,” said Khogen Singh
Minerva Punjab has been one of the most consistent teams in the I-League this year, and are a possible contender for the title. Although Mohun Bagan has an edge over them on paper, the contest will be neck to neck going by the recent form.
Bhutanese player Chencho is a key player for the visiting team and he has the capability to make a difference while Mohun Bagan will bank on foreign recruits Ansumanah Kromah and Watson Cameroon.
A win for Bagan in their tie against Minerva Punjab will put them in a strong position ahead of the Kolkata Derby on January 21. On the other hand, Minerva Punjab will sit on the top of the points table if they manage to win the game in Kolkata. To sum it up, the match is vital in the context of the I-League title race.