Mohali: Minerva Punjab FC continued their winning streak in the Punjab State Super League after thrashing Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib FC 7-0 in their fifth match at the Minerva Ground on Sunday. Akshay Pashillkar scored a hat-trick, while substitute Lago Dogho Bei scored a brace. Altamash Sayeed and Jarmanjit Singh also chipped in with a goal each to bring up the win.
Playing against an opponent that has failed to score a single goal in the last two matches, Minerva started on the attack and could have gone ahead in the sixth minute itself when Amandeep Singh earned a free-kick just outside the opposition box, but failed to keep the the ball in goal. Several attacks followed but the opposition defence held on, keeping the Minerva strikers at bay.
However, Akshay Pashillkar’s shot in the 23rd minute broke the deadlock putting Minerva Punjab ahead. The goal triggered the beginning of a Hargobind collapse as Altamash doubled the lead six minutes later with a great strike from outside the box.
A long-throw from Abhishek in the SGHSFA box in the 32nd minute saw Akshay rise above all and head in a ball making it 3-0. The Minerva number 23 could have had his hat-trick in the first-half itself but his powerful shot was denied by a fine save from the Hargobind goalkeeper as both teams headed into half-time.
The second-half started in similar fashion as the home side continued from where they had left off. Jarmanjit soon joined the party six minutes into the second-half to make it 4-0 for Minerva.
However, it was not the end of misery for the away side as more goals awaited for them. Lago Dogho Bei who had replaced Dima, scored his first goal of the match via in a penalty in the 57th minute. Akshay, who had been threatening throughout the match got the much deserved hat-trick in the 63rd minute, two minutes later Lago added the final nail in the coffin scoring another.
While it was a great match for hat-trick hero Akshay, credit must also be given to overseas star Lago Bei who scored a brace just 20 minutes after coming on.
Overwhelmed with the win, coach Juan Luis praised his boys for the quality of football they displayed. “Very happy with the quality of football my team displayed. I have a bunch of really good boys that’s coming together really well,” he said.
Minerva Punjab FC meanwhile continued to dominate Group B and remained on top with 11 points from four matches. Guru Hargobind FC on the other hand will have to bounce back if they are to make any progress in the competition.