For the second year in a row, the I-League has a new winner. If last season was all about Aizawl FC’s fairytale run to the title, this season Minerva Punjab FC have their hands on the trophy. Playing a dogged and organized style of football throughout the season, Minerva left it to the very last day to clinch the title. Requiring a win against relegation battlers Churchill Brothers (with Neroca FC, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan all still capable of winning the league if other results went their way), the team from Punjab fought their way to a narrow 1-0 win.
Wild celebrations ensued, as the I-League title went to the only club from north India in the league. Moreover, it is the first time in eleven years that the top division title has gone to a club from North India, the last winners being JCT Phagwara. Here’s how Twitter reacted to Minerva Punjab FC’s historic I-League title win!
Minerva are the champions. Beat Churchill 1-0 to become the first club from North India in more than two decades to win the national championship, the last being JCT in 1996-97 #iLeague #IndianFootball
— Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) March 8, 2018
With my namesake who won the 1st National League in 1996 for a Punjabi team. 45 minutes to go for a possible title to be won by another Punjab team. An honour to be watching the title decider with this legend. 22 years of wait for the state. @ILeagueOfficial pic.twitter.com/qguEhhd2zs
— SUKHVINDER SINGH (@sukkhi) March 8, 2018
IT'S OVER! Congratulations to @Minerva_AFC on winning the #HeroILeague. Champions of India and deservingly so! Hope this is just the beginning. We have murdered too many good stories in #IndianFootball, not this one please.
Let them be the new JCT! What a tale. ?❤️
— Ankush Sharma (@OkayAnkush) March 8, 2018
— Arunava Chaudhuri (@Arunfoot) March 8, 2018
Congratulations to #MinervaPunjab FC on winning the 2017/18 @ILeagueOfficial title! ??⚽️#HeroILeague – Full Time: @Minerva_AFC 1-0 @ChurchillB_Goa @eastbengalfc 1-1 @NerocaFC @GokulamKeralaFC 1-1 @Mohun_Bagan #IndianFootball #MPFCvCB #KEBvNFC #GKFCvMB #CPDFootball pic.twitter.com/iHzkeepPez
— Chris Punnakkattu D. (@cpdfootball) March 8, 2018
.@Minerva_AFC are the new champions of India. Or as their shirts say the “junior and senior champions of India”. Nobody can say they haven’t deserved it. It’s the end product of proper team effort, brilliant execution. A sum of parts far greater than the individuals.??? pic.twitter.com/OHPd8ffjT4
— Akarsh Sharma (@Akarsh_Official) March 8, 2018
They're going to be celebrating long into the night in Panchkula. pic.twitter.com/3taz7HEsVE
— Arka Bhattacharya (@Heilige_Kugel) March 8, 2018