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Group E: Minerva Punjab 1-1 Chennaiyin FC 


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Guwahati: Minerva Punjab failed to end their streak of drawn games as Chennaiyin FC snatched a 1-1 draw from the jaws of defeat courtesy of a 90th minute equaliser on Matchday Five of the 2019 AFC Cup Group E on Wednesday. 


Minerva were under immense pressure after having failed to secure a single win in their first four Group E encounters and looked on course for their first win when Chennaiyin equalised.

With this, Chennaiyin maintained their top position on the points table while Minerva took yet another point home.

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It was Chennaiyin FC who controlled the first half. Not only did they keep Minerva off the ball but also gave themselves several chances to score through the pair of Isaac Vanmalsawma and Anirudh Thapa.

The latter found himself in a great position to score when he dodged past Kareem Omolaja Nurain as well as the Minerva custodian but was denied a final touch by a charging Robert Primus who dispossessed Thapa in the nick of the time.

It was only in the last few minutes of the first half that Minerva started clawing their way back into the game.

There was an attempted curled effort by Moinuddin Khan in the 40th minute that found itself stopped by Karanjit. A couple of minutes later, Samuel Lalmuanpuia stretched Karanjit Singh again with a long range shot.

A similar effort just before half time by Amandeep Singh came off the bar and luckily for Chennaiyin, the rebound wasn’t dealt well with.

In the 62nd minute, Lalmuanpuia finally broke the deadlock after his shot perfectly beat two defenders and a flying custodia Karanjit.

Lalmuanpuia had another opportunity in the 70th minute, but instead of shooting, he passed it to Mahmoud Al Amnah who ran into a wall of defenders before getting dispossessed.

A number of ambitious runs and long shots by Chennaiyin players dominated the final 10 minutes and the pressure eventually paid off when Mohammed Rafi equalised in the 90th minute.

Minerva Punjab will meet Abahani Dhaka in their final group game next week while Chennaiyin FC will take on Nepalese club Manang Marshyangdi on the same day.

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