Gurgaon: In their only practice match before their WC Campaign, the visiting Colombia U-17 squad met with resistance from Minerva Punjab FC U-20 side, as they had to be content with a 1-0 win over the North Indian Club side, at the Heritage School ground here. Deyman Cortes scored the lone goal for the visitors.
The starting phase of the match was a story of strong aggression & amazing ball possession by the Colombian team pitted against fierce defense of Minerva boys, a story of attempts at the Indian Club’s defense and an ever determined Indian Club foiling any threats towards their goal. Colombian team earned a corner early in the match to be safe-kept by the Indian ringer Arshdeep Singh.
The South American side kept attacking the Minervan defense and the Ranjit Bajaj owned Indian club kept foiling any chances. It was in the 18th minute of the match that the Colombians, when Brayan Gómez’s freekick landed into the safe hands of Arshdeep. Soon after, though in the 25th minute of the match, that the Colombian team sneaked one chance through the Minerva Punjab’s defense, a lapse which turned fatal for the Indian Club, as Leandro Capaz’s cross got Deymon Cortes registering the first goal for the visitors.
The visitors kept trying to increase the goal difference, but it was not to be the case as the North Indian Club denied any other chances of scoring. The teams went for half time with the scoreline 1-0 in favor of the visiting team.
Coming off the break, Minerva Punjab team broke their shackles as they went offensive. They earned a freekick but Ghanian recruit William Opoku Asiedu’s shot missed the opponent’s goal by inches. Another of their attempts went in vain soon after as they missed the final shot.
In the end, it were the visitors with all smiles with a 1-0 scoreline in their favor, but this was not an easy match for them.
The Team Manager of the Colombian team, Jairo Pachon, had high regards for the North Indian Club. Speaking post the match, he said, “They (the Colombian Team) appreciate the Minervan team and the academy, who are playing very competitive football.”
Speaking about their World Cup campaign, Pachon said, “Colombia is looking forward to a strong World Cup campaign.”
It was a historic game for the Punjab based club as they have only to earn from this encounter against the South American Giants, though hint of luck at certain moments could take them to a better side of the final scoreline.
If we go back some pages in history, the Minerva Punjab FC, the AIFF U-16 Youth League champion, have had the honors of defeating the national U-17 and U-15 sides. The North Indian Club also have the reputation of contributing over 18 players in different age categories and will see their 4 players appearing for the national side in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup. It could be six players inside the 21 member Indian team, but two of their key players got injured recently to be left out of the national side for the all important tournament.
Minerva Punjab FC will next appear in the upcoming Punjab League season Colombia are in group A along with India, USA and Ghana. They begin their campaign against Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.
Minerva Punjab FC U 20 Vs Colombia U-17 Team (Heritage School Ground, Gurgaon)
Final Score: MPFC 0-1 Colombia (Deyman Cortes- 25′)