AFC Cup 2019: Former I-League champions Minerva Punjab held to draw by Abahani Dhaka in Bangladesh

Abahani face another Indian opponent when they travel to play Chennaiyin on 30 April. Minerva will host Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club on 1 May in Bhubaneswar

Press Trust of India April 17, 2019 21:33:03 IST
AFC Cup 2019: Former I-League champions Minerva Punjab held to draw by Abahani Dhaka in Bangladesh
  • Former I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC were held to a 2-2 draw by Abahani Dhaka of Bangladesh in their AFC Cup match on Wednesday

  • Minerva took the lead when a low cross from Makan Chote was turned in by Al Amnah in the 16th minute

  • Abahani face another Indian opponent when they travel to play Chennaiyin on 30 April. Minerva will host Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club on 1 May in Bhubaneswar

Dhaka: Former I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC were held to a 2-2 draw by Abahani Dhaka of Bangladesh in their AFC Cup match on Wednesday.

AFC Cup 2019 Former ILeague champions Minerva Punjab held to draw by Abahani Dhaka in Bangladesh

Minerva Punjab celebrate after scoring against Abahani Dhaka. Twitter@AFCCUp

Mahmoud Al Amnah (16th) and Sreyas Gopalan (42nd) scored for Minerva while Nabib Newas Jibon (20th) and Sunday Chizoba (48th) were on target for the home side in the Group E match at Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Minerva Punjab made two changes to the playing eleven which played out a goalless stalemate against Chennaiyin FC in their opening match with goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy and midfielder Harminder Singh being handed the starts.

The Punjab-based side are still searching for their maiden win in the AFC Cup.

Sunday Chizoba showed the home side's intent when he fired a shot just wide in the first minute itself but Minerva responded immediately with a powerful strike from Mahmoud Al Amnah which Abahani goalkeeper Shahidul Alam did well to tip it over.

A touch of quality almost put Minerva in front when Al Amnah's deep cross from the right was brilliantly controlled by Samuel Lalmuanpuia before he curled just wide of the top-right corner.

Minerva took the lead when a low cross from Makan Chote was turned in by Al Amnah in the 16th minute. Abahani soon responded and they equalised just four minutes later when Sohel Rana's cross was fired in by Nabib Jibon.

The home side then saw Chizoba's shot saved by Minerva goalie Bhaskar Roy before the follow-up was cleared off the line. Kervens Belfort then found Chizoba after a surging run through the middle and the Nigerian made space for a shot but fired just over from 20 yards.

Minerva regained the lead after a dreadful defensive error in the 42nd minute. A misplaced pass across the 18-yard line was seized upon by substitute Sreyas Gopalan who smashed the ball into the corner. Gopalan had replaced midfielder Harminder Singh after 38 minutes.

Just three minutes into the second half, Abahani found the equaliser. Waly Faisal's free-kick from the right came back off the bar and rebounded off a defender before Chizoba shot the ball home from a yard out.

Kalif Alhassan almost scored a spectacular third for Minerva but his long-range volley flashed wide. Nabib Jibon came close to his second of the game when he curled an effort narrowly wide just after the hour mark.

With 14 minutes remaining, Gopalan's header went just over and the visitors missed a better chance moments later when Amandeep Singh shot tamely wide from an excellent position.

Nabib Jibon then shot into the side-netting from close range and there was one final chance for the home side but Belfort headed just over in the dying minutes.

Abahani face another Indian opponent when they travel to play Chennaiyin on 30 April. Minerva will host Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club on 1 May in Bhubaneswar.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Premier League: Manchester United trigger one-year extension option in Paul Pogba's contract
Sports

Premier League: Manchester United trigger one-year extension option in Paul Pogba's contract

Pogba was due to be out of contract at the end of this season and recently ramped up speculation that he could leave United by admitting it would be a "dream" to play for Real Madrid.

FIFA moves forward with rape investigation of Haiti football chief, case to be handed over to disciplinary arm
Sports

FIFA moves forward with rape investigation of Haiti football chief, case to be handed over to disciplinary arm

FIFA said the case would now be taken up by its disciplinary arm, the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee.

Delhi High Court permits Anwar Ali to play despite heart condition until AIFF's final verdict
Sports

Delhi High Court permits Anwar Ali to play despite heart condition until AIFF's final verdict

In a huge relief for India U-17 World Cup footballer Anwar Ali, who has a congenital heart condition, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed him to carry on playing until the national federation arrives at a final decision.