Minerva Punjab FC managed to play out a 1-1 draw against Nepalese football team Manang Marshyangdi in the ongoing AFC Cup in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Thoiba Singh and Oluwashina Azeez scored the goals for Minerva and Manang Marshyangdi respectively in the Group E game at the ANFA Complex.
Manang started the game with complete control on the ball as the team from Punjab found it hard to keep possession for most of the times in the first half of the match. Samuel Lalmuanpuia looked good on the flanks in the initial passage of the game. In the first 10 minutes, Lalmuanpuia created a couple of chances for the visitors but was denied on both occasions. Thoiba also tried his best to give his team a lead in the game in the first half itself but was not successful in his first attempt at the goal.
Thoiba, however, managed to beat the Nepal goalie in the 40th minute and the former I League champions got the lead before the half-time. Hassan’s cross was tapped past Manang custodian Bishal Shreshta by Thoiba to take lead.
However, things turned bad for the visitors as Prateek Joshi was shown a red card just before the half-time whistle by the referee. Manang tried to assert dominance against the Indian club in the second half as they had a one-man advantage with them. Anjan Bist did well to keep Minerva keeper Arshdeep Singh at bay during most of the occasions of the half. But, the team from Punjab did well to maintain the lead till the 80th minute of the match.
In the 81st minute, Shaheed Azeez headed a long ball into the post to equalise. Minerva was then denied a goal in the dying moments of the game and their streak of draws continues.
With four points from four draws in the competition so far, the former I League champions are still searching a win in the AFC Cup. They will next play ISL team Chennaiyin FC on June 19 in Guwahati in a home game while Manang will play Abahani Dhaka in their next Group E tie.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi