Minerva Punjab succumbed to a late goal by Masih Saighani as Abahani Dhaka confirmed their progression from the group stage of the 2019 AFC Cup. The final group E game ended 0-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.
After ninety goalless minutes, defender Masih Saighani header from a corner in the 93rd minute helped Abahani seal full points. The I-League team's result has also knocked out Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC from the tournament as the latter needed Minerva to get at least a point from the game.
Sachin Badadhe made three changes to the Minerva side that were held by Chennaiyin in their last match. Bhaskar Roy returned in goal, Al-Amnah and Makan Chote also featured in the starting lineup.
Mario Lemos made just one change to the lineup that thrashed Manang Marshyangdi 5-0 in their last outing. Mohammed Faisal replaced Nwadialu.
The Indian team was pinned to the back foot by their opponents early on. However, the Bangladeshi champions failed to find the net.
Mamunul Islam's left-footed strike from outside the box was blocked with a goalline clearance from Robert Primus keeping Sachin Badadhe's team in the contest.
The Indian head coach brought on Moinuddin Khan midway through the half but the half ended without goals.
The restart wasn't different as Minerva continued to successfully contain Abahani's forays forward. Primus saved his team once again, this time with an excellent sliding tackle inside the box in the 54th minute to keep out Jewel Rana.
With clear-cut chances hard to come by, Kareem Nurain unleased a piledriver from 35 yards out but it flew harmlessly wide.
The visitors took advantage of a nervy defence in the final minutes as Kervens Belfort headed a corner into the path of Saighani who headed in a much-awaited winner for his team.