I-League 2017/18: Minerva Punjab vs East Bengal, 5 Talking Points
East Bengal brought the I-League title race back to life with a 1-0 victory over Minerva Punjab in Panchkula, on Tuesday, after a Cavin Lobo wonder-goal put them ahead in the second half.
In a match where both the sides struggled, Khalid Jamil's side came out on top, to narrow down the gap at the top of the table to just three points between them and Minerva Punjab. As the title race heats up, let's take a look at some of the key talking points from the match.
When the pitch plays spoilsport
There has been a lot of talk about the pitch at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, ahead of the potential title decider. Neither of the two sides were allowed to train at the stadium on the eve of the match, as damp conditions in the tri-city of Chandigarh had taken its toll on the ground. While Minerva trained at their academy grounds, East Bengal kicked it around on the terrace of the team hotel.
There wasn't much improvement during the match either, as large damp spots were seen on the pitch, that severely affected the game. East Bengal, had the lion's share of possession in the opening exchanges, but often had to resort to long balls, as they could not play it around in that area.