Minerva begin U-21 league with 4-1 win
Kuntal Pakhira, Himanshu Jangra and Imran Khan scored the goals for the host and former junior champions
Minerva Academy started their U-21 Youth League journey at home to Paldi Football Academy. There were some familiar names in the starting 11 for Minerva Academy - with Charles Tongbram in goal, Adhiraj Kundlas captaining the side and 16-year old Himanshu Jangra.
Proceedings began very brightly for Minerva Academy as Imran ran with the ball on the left-wing, cut inside and found Kuntal who had burst into the box from midfield. Kuntal volleyed the ball past the goalkeeper to give the home side the lead in the 10th minute.
But Paldi got back into the game in the 29th minute, as Minerva Academy conceded a free-kick, which came directly towards goal and a wicked deflection from the wall gave Charles no chance of saving it.
Charles was again called into the action, as he had to make a good save to keep Paldi at bay and keep the scoreline at 1-1. It looked like things could go either way, but in the dying moments of the first half - Minerva Academy found inspiration. Saurabh played the ball through the centre for Himanshu Jangra to latch onto, who swivelled past his man and slotted the ball to the goalkeeper's left to make it 2-1.
Paldi had a chance to come back on level terms early in the second half after Minerva Academy conceded a penalty, but the spot-kick was thumped over the crossbar.
The passed up opportunities came back to bite Paldi, as Minerva eventually got the cushion they were looking for. Imran was involved again, and the orchestrator of the first goal picked up the instrument this time as he cut inside from the left and scored a superb long ranger to make it 3-1.
Imran then rounded off a fantastic performance by adding another one to his tally, as Kuntal rushed in from the right and sent the ball in for an easy tap in for Imran.
An excellent display from Minerva Academy gives them their first points on the board in the U-21 Youth League. They play their next fixture against Principal Harbhajan SA on the 4th of February.
Kuntal Pakhira 10th Minute.
Himanshu Jangra 45+3rd Minute.
Imran Khan 61st, 82nd Minute.