Goals from Ryuji Sueoka and Gilbert Olivera allow the Goans to salvage a point against the Uzbekistan based outit....Salgaocar SC twice came from behind to hold Neftchi to a 2-2 draw at an AFC Cup, Group D League encounter at the Fatorda Stadium, on Wednesday.
Atabek Isroilov had headed the Uzbek's ahead in the 25th minute, before Ryuji Sueoka (45+2') equalised for the hosts just before half-time.
Aziz Alijonov helped the visitors grab the initiative yet again in the 59th minute but two of Karim Bencherifa's substitutes, Gilbert Olivera and Randeep Singh combined, with the former scoring a peach of an equaliser in the 83rd minute.
Both the teams had a steady start to that match which didn't allow any room for complacency as the keepers were kept active between the sticks.
The frontmen in green Edeh Chidi besides Ryuji Sueoka tried their luck in the initial fifteen minutes but were nowhere close to finding the target.
Salgaocar's captain in defense Luciano Sobrosa was alert to clear an incoming free-kick taken by Neftchi's Mansurjon Saidov, while on the other side, Shukurali Pulatov was assured enough to see off any crosses delivered in his area.
The 25th minute saw the opener being headed in at the far corner of Karanjit's net by the visiting side's Isroilov Otabek who met a cross by Aybek Nurbaev's after a quick free-kick taken by Yakubov Bahtiyorjon.
Neftchi tried to keep the pressure on the Goans but Irmatov Dilyobek's attempt was well blocked by the Salgaocar skipper.
It was then that Ryuji Sueoka played a one-two with Ishfaq Ahmed and the Japanese medio forced Neftchi keeper Turdaliev Farruh to effect his first save of the match in the 32nd minute.
The home side's persistence however eventually paid off when Sueoka was involved in yet another array of one-touch passing football with Chidi before receiving back the ball and placing it past Turdaliev just before the end of the first half.
After changing ends, Salgaocar survived a couple of chances that fell to the Uzbek side before the visitors did well to advance through their right wing before doubling their lead.
Saidov came up with a clever flick to countryman Alijonov Aziz whose rifle of a shot found the back of the net in the 59th minute to put his side back in command.
Karanjit Singh then kept his side in the race to find the equaliser as Saidov couldn't believe his eyes when his team-mate Yakubov was denied from close range by the Salgaocar custodian.
Eventually, Karim Bencherifa's brave changes paid off perfectly as the two Salgaocar substitutes Gilbert Olivera and Randeep Singh combined brilliantly with Olivera's pile driver from Singh's pass finding the back of the net.
Soon afterwards, Karanjit saw to it that the hosts held on to their hard earned point as he dived to his left to send out a powerfully taken free-kick by Alijonov that was heading towards the corner of the post.
And it was until the referee from Turkmenistan Kurbanov Charymurat blew the final whistle, with the final score being 2-2, a result that helps Bencherifa's side garner their first points of this AFC Cup campaign.
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