The AFC Cup game between I-League club Minerva Punjab and Bangaldesh’s Abahani Dhaka ended in a 2-2 stalemate on Wednesday. Mahmoud Al Amnah and Sreyas Gopalan scored one each for the former I-League champions in the first half at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Bangladesh’s capital city.
Minerva had made a couple of changes going into the game against the Dhaka club after the 0-0 draw against ISL club Chennaiyin FC in their previous outing. Mahmoud Al Amnah found the back of the net in the 16th minute of the game after the hosts tried to score through Sunday Chizoba as early as in the first minute of the match. Makan Chote’s cross was nicely played by Al Amnah to beat the Bangladeshi club’s custodian.
However, the Dhaka club came back strong to equalise in the 20th minute as Nabib Newas Jibon took Sohail Rana’s cross and hit it past Bhaskar Roy in the Minerva goal post. Bhaskar, however, came up with a brilliant save after that as he restricted Chizoba from scoring.
Minerva took the lead again before the end of the first half as Gopalan, who came as a substitute took possession of the ball after a misplaced ball inside the box and nailed past the Abahani goalie in the 42nd minute.
After a 2-1 lead at the end of the first half, Dhaka side came with an equaliser in the third minute of the second. Chizoba finally managed to get his name on the scoresheet in the 48th minute as he converted the ball which came after a rebound from one of the Minerva defenders.
Both the teams created a couple of chances each after the goal in the second half but none of them materialised and the Group E game ended in a 2-2 draw in Dhaka.
Abahani will now play ISL side Chennaiyin FC on April 30 while Minerva which has not won a single match so far in the competition will take on Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi on May 1 at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi