NAGAON, ASSAM: Tulya Das scored the winner as Oil India Dulijan took pole position in Group B following their 1-0 victory over Minerva Punjab FC in the last group game of the 70th Independence Cup on Wednesday at Nurul Amin Stadium in Nagaon, Assam.
Initially it looked like it might be Minerva’s match given the way the two sides started the encounter.
Minerva looked a lot more comfortable in the first-half, adopting a passing game that often had Oil India giving chase rather than being able to control the game themselves.
There were a slew of chances for Minerva but they were thwarted each time either by the penalty area management from Nikhil Das, or their own difficulties finding the target.
On the other hand, Oil India had some good opportunities but good defending from Deepak Devrani and Subham Chetry kept them at bay as both sides went into the breather tied at goalless.
Following the pause for half-time, Oil India came straight out of the blocks.
It signalled a period of dominance for Oil India as they found their rhythm putting Minerva under a sustained period of pressure and after several near misses Tulya put the finishing touch on an organised advance from the team.
The match started to become a little tenser as the clock counted down with Minerva showing great determination in their pursuit of an equalizer, while Oil India remained solid at the back.
Minerva, to their credit, never gave up but it appeared as if getting on the score sheet just wasn’t to be for the side today with every shot went anywhere but on target as Oil India held on on for a well-deserved win.
Oil India would face BSF Jalandhar in the first semifinal on Friday at 2:30 pm while Minerva Punjab would battle Mohammedan Sporting Club on the same day at 5:15 pm.