Tag: Minerva Academy FC

Durand Cup: Sporting demolish Minerva; keeps semifinal hopes alive

SCG Press release

New Delhi: Sporting Clube de Goa put up a brilliant performance to stay alive in the Durnad Cup 2016 as they thrashed Minerva Academy 5 – 0 in their last group stage match here at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi. Glan Martins (14’) opened the score board for Sporting while Cajetan Fernandes (19’), George D’Souza (73’), Alber Gonsalves (90’+3) and Marcus Mascarenhas (90’+6) got on the score sheet for the Goan side.

Sporting Clube de Goa produced yet another clinical first half performance with some quick attacking football. Gaffer Mateus Costa made two changes to the previous side that beat Gangtok, Alber Gonsalves came in place of Victorino Fernandes while George D’Souza came in place of Ponif Vaz who was down with fever. Costa adopted the 4-2-3-1 formation with Marcus Mascarenhas leading the attack. Sporting started off well as Ganesh Thakur and Marcus made some good moves early in the match. The show stopper was Glan Martins 14th minute thunderbolt from about 22 yards off. Alber Gonsalves sighted Martins with some room to shoot and send in a low cross towards him. Glan Martins charged forward and struck it perfectly to land it in the top right corner of the nets. Soon in the 19th minute Cajetan Fernandes doubled the lead with a brilliant free kick from the edge of the box placing it well at the corner giving the Minerva keeper no chance to react. After this Minerva tried getting back in the game as Manandeep Singh and Jaison Vales created some good moves among themselves but failed to break down the Sporting defense. The Sporting keeper Ravi Kumar had an exceptional day in between the sticks. The score stayed 2 – 0 at the half time.

The second half saw both sides going for the goal right from the kick off. Minerva players gave in their best but couldn’t get past the experienced back four of Sporting. In the 73rd minute Sporting won a free kick close to the centre line, George D’Souza who took an aim at the goal and managed to beat the keeper making it 3 – 0 in favour of Sporting. Minerva forward Manandeep Singh tried hard but couldn’t produce the match changing performance. Sporting added two more in the injury time when Alber managed to head in a George free kick while Quan Gomes set up Marcus with a brilliant cross making it 5 – 0 in favour of Sporting. With this win Sporting climb to 2ndposition in Group A with 7 points and a healthy goal difference of +7 but will have to wait for a favourable result (i.e. Draw) of the match between Army Green & Gangtok Himalayan which will be held on 7th Sept (Wednesday) to confirm their semi-final breath.


Minerva Academy FC kick started their historic debut Durand Cup campaign against fellow I-League 2nd Division competitors Himalyan Gangtok FC at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi yesterday. The match ended 2-0 in Gangtok Himalayan’s favour.

The game wasn’t in favour of the Minerva boys who’s average age was 23, an U15 player (Jackson Singh) too was part of starting IX of the young Minervan team.

Gangtok FC first had a taste for a goal in the opening few minutes of the game with foreigner Samuel Kane getting through Minervans Jarmanjit and Akashdeep only to be denied by keeper Arshdeep. Minerva then bounced back in the very next move with striker Victor Amobi missing a one-on-one with the Gangtok goalkeeper Loknath Roy. In the first half an attempt at goal by striker Girik Khosla missed the goal post by inches. The next couple of minutes were a busy time for Gangtok goalkeeper Loknath Roy as he had made a few important saves from Minerva AFC’s strikers Manandeep Singh and Girik Khosla. A dominant 1st half turned out to be a disappointing one when Minerva Defender Jarmanjit was shown a direct red for his tackle on Gangtok’s playmaker Samuel Kane which successfully rewarded his dive inside the box. Minerva’s never say die attitude reflected as they still fought hard with 10 men to break the deadlock, but all attempts were in vain leading to a score line of 0-0 in the first half.

Second Half saw Gangtok Himalayan trying to capitalise on Minerva being down to 10 men. Coach Surinder Singh introduced  India U19 international Moinuddin to replace Girik Khosla and bring in some fresh legs. Winger Akash Sangwan was sent back to fill in the gap created by departure of Jarmanjit. The make shift defence of Minerva managed to keep Gangtok strikers at bay until 65th minute when Akash Sangwan limped off the field with a cramp leaving only 9 Minervans on the field. This is when Bhaichung Bhutia of Gangtok headed in a corner kick to put Gangtok in the lead. Minervans were now rearing for goal and put immense pressure on the Gangtok back four. Substitute Moinuddin displayed fine form of skill by releasing striker Manandeep Singh for some good chances. One such volley landed perfectly for Manandeep just outside the box but the powerful shot just brushed past the bar. The Gangtok players now deployed time wasting tactics to slow the game down and keep the lead but the Minervans were relentless in trying to get one back. The final heartbreak came in the 80th minute when Gangtok Himalayan scored the second goal through Samuel Kane again from a corner kick.  Minervans tried to take on the herculean task , and the last 10 minutes of the game saw striker Victor Amobi replaced with Lago Bei of Ivory Coast to refurbish the Minervan attack, but in vain. The match ended with a final score of 2-0 in Gangtok Himalayan’s favour. The evening was a heartbreak to all Minervans as the team lost 3 crucial points to the lads from Gangtok to whom they have never lost before.

Minerva Academy FC next takes on Indian Navy in another important fixture on 1st September at 4.15pm in Harbaksh Football Stadium, Delhi.

Mohammedan SC’s I-League promotion hopes fade after a draw against Dempo

By Debabrata Majumder

GOA: Mohammedan Sporting Club suffered a major setback in their quest for promotion to the I-League after a goalless draw against Dempo SC in their final round clash of the I-League 2nd Division on Wednesday.

The draw at Fatorda Stadium has not done the Kolkata outfit any fovours, who now have 12 points from 8 games and have fallen five points behind Dempo. However, the result would definitely encourage Minerva Academy FC who are on 15 points having played the same number of matches.

Going into the match Mohammedan SC gaffer Subrata Bhattacharya Jr. made only change to the side from the previous match against Lonestar Kashmir FC by handing start to Sheikh Faiaz over Nagen Tamang.

In a game involving high stakes both the teams started off with caution. However, Mohammedan SC were more organized in attack but could not able penetrate into rival box as the Dempo defenders done well to keep the strike pair of Ajay Singh and Simabarashe Gate in check.

Ajay, who was a marked-man from the beginning, had the first chance to put the visitors ahead but his effort from Antoni Soren’s pass was denied by the rival custodian Laxmikant Kattmani in the 19th minute.

Dempo, on the other hand, came close to scoring on a couple of occassions through Romeo Fernandes and Felix Chidi Odili but the Mohammedan defense thwarted their attempts with ease.

Changing over, Mohammedan SC kept on probing into the Dempo half and they came close with Ajay and Faiaz but Kattimani pulled off some good saves, which build frustration in the Mohammedan SC dugout.

The Black Panthers put relentless pressure on the rival defense in the last 15 minutes of the game, but Dempo managed to hold on defending deep as the game ended scoreless.

Mohammedan SC now travel to Gangtok where they take on Gangtok Himalayan SC on 19th May.

I-League 2nd Division: Ajay Singh lone goal gave Mohammedan SC vital win at Kashmir


SRINAGAR: Mohammedan Sporting Club rode on Ajay Singh’s first half strike to beat Lonestar Kashmir FC 1-0 in their final round encounter of the I-League 2nd Division at the Synthetic Turf Stadium in Srinagar on Sunday.

Going into the game Mohammedan SC coach Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr.) made three changes to the side that played 1-1 against Minerva Academy FC on Thursday. Simbarashe Gate replaced James Moga who picked up a red card in last match while Mumtaz Akhtar and Sheikh Faiaz made way for Bisheshwor Singh and Pritam Singh respectively.

Mohammedan SC started the match strongly and went ahead within three minutes into the game when their skipper Ajay Singh slotted home to give the visitors an early advantage.

Having scored, Mohammedan SC grew in confidence placing a flurry of attacks into the Kashmir box. From one of those chances Simbarashe almost doubled the lead for his side in the 22nd minute but the Zimbabwean’s effort was blocked by Kashmir keeper Harpreet Singh at the near post.

Seven minutes later Nagen Tamang tried his luck from a long range effort which sailed high over the crossbar without giving much trouble to Harpreet.

Meanwhile, the hosts also created some good moves in patches. Adil Khan and Altamash Sayed made some attempts on Mohammedan SC goal, however could not able to convert as the first session concluded with Mohammedan SC leading 1-0.

The second half completely belonged to Mohammedan SC. The visitors attacked right from the word go and made the first attempt in the 52nd minute through Ajay who done well to control the ball on the right side before shoting one towards the goal which missed the target by a whisker.

Thereafter, Mohammedan SC dominated much of the proceedings but failed to increase the tally despite having some close chances as the scoreline remain unchanged at the full time.

Mohammedan SC who now have 11 points from 7 games will take on Dempo SC next on Wednesday at Goa.

I-League 2nd Division: Uphill task awaits Mohammedan SC at Kashmir

By Debabrata Majumder

SRINAGAR: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Subrata Bhattachatya (Jr.) has urged his team to get the win they need to remain alive in the race for the coveted I-League berth as they prepare to face Lonestar Kashmir FC in their final round clash of the I-League 2nd Division on Sunday at the Synthetic Turf Stadium in Srinagar.

A 1-1 draw against Minerva Academy FC on Thursday has jolted Mohammedan SC’s campaign heavily. Now the Kolkata outfit need to win all their remaining matches and at the same time will have depend on the results of Dempo’s and Minerva’s matches.

“This is a make or break situation for us, a win will put us back in the title picture but if we fail then we are almost out of the race. Hence, we would go allout for the win,” coach Bhattacharya said on the eve of the clash.

“In the last game we were clearly the better side, but luck was not on our side as we could not able to get full points despite dominating the game with a man short. This time around we would not like to repeat the same mistakes.” He added.

On the team news front, Mohammedan SC will be missing the services of league’s top scorer James Moga who received a red card against Minerva. However, Simbarashe Gate has flown in to replace the South Sudan international.

Kashmir FC, on the other hand, currently at the bottom of the table and did not won a single game in the final round thus the hosts will be eager to log their first win in front of the home crowd.

Facing Mohammedan SC, the Hilal Rasool led side will be relying heavily on Farukh Choudhary and Atinder Mani to lead the attack.

Furthermore, the likes of Adil Khan, Gagandeep Singh and skipper Kamaljeet Kumar will also form an important part of the side.

Therefor, It is quite obvious that an uphill task awaits Mohamedan SC against a Kashmir FC side that have only lost once at home in the competition.

“When we played them earlier it was an even contest, which luckily we won, so I am expecting a tough match tomorrow but we have come all prepared to face them.” Mohammedan SC gaffer concluded.

When the last time these two teams meet it was Mohammedan SC who came out on top in Kolkata courtesy a goal from Ajay Singh and in Moga’s absence Ajay will have an important role to play tomorrow.

The match at Srinagar will start at 4.00 pm on Sunday.

I-League 2nd Division: Mohammedan SC face Minerva; high stakes encounter for both

By Debabrata Majumder

CHANDIGARH: Mohammedan Sporting Club will look to continue their winning run in the I-League 2nd Division when they face Minerva Academy FC tomorrow in an Final Round fixture at the Sector 17 Football Ground in Chandigarh.

Playing their first away game of the campaign, Mohammedan SC (7 pts) will be eager to close the gap between themselves and leaders Dempo SC (13 pts) and a win on the morrow would turn out to be very crucial for the visitors as the league is heading towards it’s business end. Similarly, Minerva (11 pts) who are on second position will also hoping for a positive result which will take them to 14.

The final round campaign did not started well for Mohammedan SC, at one stage they were looking down and out without a single point from their first two outings but the Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr.) coached side made a tremendous recovery since then collecting seven points from next three games where they have conceded only one goal, that also from penalty.

Mohammedan SC, who beat Neroca FC 2-0 last weekend, will be facing Minerva exactly after a month from their first-leg encounter at Barasat and the Black Panthers will be looking to set the record straight on Minerva having suffered 1-2 defeat that afternoon.

“We had a good game against Neroca last week. Despite missing a few key players, we played according to our plan with players complimenting each other, which is a very good sign going into an away game,” coach Bhattachaya said on the eve of the clash.

Seeing James Moga and Ajay Singh looking sharp in front of goal will please cocah Bhattacharya ahead of the high voltage clash, but the defense led by Ivorian Lancine Toure is the greatest strength for Mohammedan SC so far in the competition.

Minerva, on the other hand, enjoying a winning streak of their own having logged successive home wins over Lonestar Kashmir FC and Gangtok Himalayan SC will look forward to extend it further and the Punjab outfit have enough potential in their side for doing the same.

Going into the match Minerva coach Surinder Singh will rely on team’s top scorer Sehijpal Singh to break the rival defense, who has already done it once a month ago. Nigerian Bala Alhassan Dahir is expected to marshall the midfield while Kareem Omolaja Nurain will be leading the back-line.

“Minerva is not an easy team to play especially in their home ground but players are up for the challenge. We did have a commendable performances in last two games, but that is past and I don’t want the players to get complacent. We are not thinking too far ahead and only concentrating on the task at hand.” coach Bhattachaya added.

On the team news front, Mohammedan SC will boosted by the return Toure and Nagen Tamang who are back after serving a one match suspension for two yellow cards. However, Mohammedan SC will miss the services of Imran Khan as he picked up viral fever while Manish Maithani is still unavailable for selection.

The game at Chandigarh kicks-off at 4.00 pm on Thursday (May 5, 2016).

I-League 2nd Division: Moga, Ajay stars in Mohamedan SC win over Neroca FC

By Debabrata Majumder

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Neroca FC in their final round clash of the I-League 2nd Division, here on Friday.

First half goals from James Moga (3rd) and Ajay Singh (23rd) helped Mohammedan SC to secure full three points at the Mohammedan Sporting Club Ground.

Going into the game, Mohammedan SC coach Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr.) was forced to make a couple of changes to the side that beat Gangtok Himalayan SC last week as Lancine Toure and Nagen Tamang were suspended which saw Bikramjit Singh and Sheikh Faiaz took their role in the starting line-up.

Playing their last home game of the season, Mohammedan SC began confidently with an attacking mindset. It only took Mohammedan SC three minutes to break the deadlock when Moga headed home off a rebound of Ajay’s shot to put the hosts ahead.

The early lead gave Mohammedan SC a boost in confidence and they attacked the Neroca FC goal ferociously going close on a few occasions.


After dominating proceedings, Mohammedan SC doubled their lead midway through the half as the South Sudan international turned provider this time for Ajay who converted a delightful pass of Moga from the left side.

Thereafter, Mohammedan SC continued to put pressure on the Neroca FC defense  holding midfield supremacy.  A few good chances fell for Faiaz and Imran Khan but they lacked the finishing touch in the final third as the scoreline remain 2-0 in favour of the hosts at the interval.

Changing over, the visitors tried their best in reducing the margin and came with few counter moves. Gift Raikhan’s side had two clear chances but substitutes Chinedu Emmanuel and Ronald Singh failed to get past the Mohammedan SC defense.

Meanwhile, Mohammedan SC almost added the third in the 72nd minute but Faiaz literally failed to put the ball into the empty net after being set up by Ajay.

In the remainder of the half, Mohammedan SC held on to their lead to ensure back-to-back wins in the competition which took their tally to 7 points from 5 games behind Neroca FC (8 pts), Minerva Academy FC (11 pts) and leaders Dempo SC (13 pts). However, Mohammedan SC have played a match less than their opponents who sit above them in the table.

Mohammedan SC will travel to Chandigarh next where they face Minerva on 5 May, 2016.

Minerva Academy FC creates history; crowned champions in the inaugural U-15 Youth League


GOA: Minerva Academy FC U-15 side became the Champions of India in the U-15 Youth League after beating Royal Wahingdoh 4-3 in penalties at Duler Stadium in Goa today.

Phrangki Buam gave Royals the lead in the 77th minute which was cancelled out within 2 minutes by Minerva’s Moirangthem Givson Singh. Both sides could not break the deadlock in regulation time as the match had to be finally decided by the penalty shootout. Prasan Chhetri stepped up and made no mistake in converting the winning penalty for The Pride of Punjab.

India U-17 coach Nicolai Adam while Kushal Das, General Secretary of All India Football Federation and Sunando Dhar, CEO of I-League were present to witness the thrilling finale.

The nerve wrecking match started on equal terms with both the sides attacking and looking to score first, to put pressure on the opponents. Both sides looked for the elusive first goal as the match was played at a frantic pace followed by some end to end football.

Royal Wahingdoh got the first sniff on goal at the 13th minute when Phrangki ‘s low free-kick was met by Thongram Singh with a diving header which missed the target by a whisker. The Royals continued their flurry of attacks and almost looked certain to score the initial goal in the 26th minute but were denied by the heroics of the Minerva custodian, Jaskarenvir Singh.

Minerva had a chance to take the lead in the 40th minute when forward Shubham Sarangi managed to  exquisitely nutmeg Royal’s Rakesh Singh before hitting the crossbar from outside the box.

The scoreline read 0-0 at half time.

Minerva came out with all guns blazing in the second half as the Royals were happy to weather the storm. Minerva attacker Givson Singh almost scored from a long ranger but his effort ricocheted off the cross bar.

Royal Wahingdoh finally broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when Phrangki’s spectacular long ranger found  the back of the net.

Minerva boys issued an immediate response and equalized within two minutes. Givson tried his luck from long range with an audacious curling long range effort which beat Royal’s custodian Kevinson all ends up, thus making it 1-1.

None of the teams could find a winning goal in  90 minutes of regulation time as the match went into extra time. Both teams looked to play safe in extra time as the pressure mounted on the young lads.

The scoreline remained unchanged after extra time and the finale had to be decided on penalties.  Wahingdoh’s wonderkid Phrangki however missed the first spot-kick of the shootout while Hmingsang Zuala hit the crossbar when the score was tied at 3-3. Prasan Chhetri held his nerve to score the winning penalty as the Minerva Team erupted in joy.

I-League 2nd Division: Minerva beat Gangtok Himalayan to keeps pressure on Dempo


CHANDIGARH: Minerva Academy FC registered a comprehensive 2-0 winy over Gangtok Himalayan SC at the Sector 17 Stadium  today in an I-League 2nd Division final round match. Taranjit Singh and Ramandeep Singh scored the goals for the Chandigarh side.

Both sides were desperate for three points as they fielded a strong Starting XI. Minerva went with a traditional 4-4-2 formation with Taranjit and Manvir Singh spearheading the attack. Midfield maestro Bala Alhassan started at the heart of the midfield.

The home side started the match with a lot of intensity compared to their opponent Gangtok Himalayan SC, who never got a firm grip on the match. Minerva’s attacking trio of Taranjit Singh, Manvir and Bala created all sorts of problems for the Gangtok defence right from the first whistle.

Minerva had to wait till the 42nd minute to break the deadlock when Taranjit headed the ball in the back of the net from a Amandeep Singh corner.

The away side tried to issue an immediate response but could not really get a grip on proceedings as their attacks lacked venom.

Minerva increased the lead in the 2nd half when Ramandeep calmly headed the ball into the back of the net past a hapless Gangtok keeper, who had saved a Akashdeep Singh shot only to see that the ball fell into the path of a poaching Ramandeep Singh.

The second goal ensured that the match finished 2-0 in favour of Minerva Academy FC as the Gangtok players were unable to breach an impregnable Minerva defence.

Kareem Omolaja and Ramandeep were rock solid at the heart of the defence and never allowed the Gangtok attackers to have a sniff at goal.

The win takes Minerva to the 2nd position in the points table with 11 points from 6 games, just 2 points behind Dempo SC. This all important victory will certainly serve as a morale booster for the aspiring champions.

Minerva Academy FC next host Kolkata Giants Mohammedan  Sporting Club on 5th May at the Sector 17 Ground.

Minerva Academy FC summer camp begins this Saturday


CHANDIGARH: The much awaited Minerva Academy FC summer camp is all set to kick-start from May 1 at the lush green club campus in Daon, Mohali.

The summer camp is bring organised after the success of the winter camp, where close to hundreds kids were given I-League level training. With demand for another camp coming from all quarters, the Management decided to go the extra bit this time,  lengthening the duration and then including girls for the camp.

“Many girls were also interested for the camp and they keep asking us to conduct it for girls also. So seeing the interest, we decided to include girls for the camp,” said club CEO Henna Bajaj.

She also added that, “Last time, the camp was a bit short and the kids wanted more. We also felt the same and want to keep them for few more days so that they could be groom for a longer time and make them accustomed to the life of a professional club.”

The camp will include daily I-League style practice and training to be conducted by the Minerva Academy coaches. Technical and Tactical session will be conducted by AFC A license coach of the club, Surinder Singh while GK coach Sandeep Singh will help in the development of the goalkeepers.

Kids will be educated on common injuries that footballs are prone to and they will be taught as to how they should avoid such injuries and deal with them, in case they get injured.

Apart from all these, to give them a feel of a professional club, they will be taken for Hydrotherapy session, cross-fit training session. Club Director, Ranjit Bajaj, who is a motivational Guru, will take care of the Motivational sessions.

Kids will be given one on one counselling and feedback sessions will also be organised with parents. Lastly, during the course of the camp, kids will be exposed to several practice matches with other clubs or teams.

“I always dreamt of becoming a professional footballer but was confused, how to become one or what I should do. Then, I joined the Minerva Academy FC winter camp and I was exposed to the whole system of how one becomes a Pro. I am so thankful to Minerva for showing me the right path. I am going for the summer camp again, said Abu Osama, a 16-year-old boy from Gujarat.

Registration will close on April 30. Interested candidates are requested to contact +91- 8728089819 for registration.