By Soumo Ghosh,
AIFF Media Team
Kolkata, May 26, 2019: Former Hero Junior League champions Minerva Punjab have put out a definitive display so far in the 2018-19 edition of the tournament, making it to the semifinals, where they are set to face Shillong Lajong at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal on Monday.
The Chandigarh-based side has had a few ups and downs in the tournament so far. Their ups coming in the Punjab Zonal Group, where they won all their matches to claim the top spot and qualify directly for the Final Round.
“It has been a good campaign for us so far in the Hero Junior League,” said Minerva Head Coach Harpreet Singh. “But we still have certain areas where we need to improve, as improvement never stops.”
While the Zonal Round was a simple affair for Minerva, the Final Round Group A was anything but that. Pitted against Aizawl FC, Stadium Sports Foundation and Birachandra Memorial SC, Minerva did the unthinkable to climb from third to the top spot in the group and qualify for the semifinals after a thumping 6-0 victory over SSF.
“The game against SSF was probably the best match we played in this tournament,” said Harpreet. “We qualified against all the odds, and the kind of performance that the boys churned out that day was really good.”
Now set to face fellow Hero I-League club Shillong Lajong in the semifinals, Harpreet believes that an overall approach to the game will help his team overcome the opposition.
“Fitness, tactics and technical work on different team combinations and formations are key for us,” said Harpreet. “We need to work on these things and give it our 100 per cent to qualify for the final.”