AFC Cup 2019: Mohammed Rafi strikes late as Chennaiyin hold Minerva Punjab
Chennaiyin FC
Minerva Punjab registered their fifth consecutive draw in the 2019 AFC Cup...

Chennaiyin FC handed Minerva Punjab their fifth consecutive draw following a 1-1 result in their Group E match of the 2019 AFC Cup played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, on Wednesday.

With eight points from five matches, the ISL club are on top of the proceedings in the group. Minerva are third, with five points from as many games. 

Sachin Badadhe opted for the services of Sreyas Gopalan up front as Mahmoud Al Amna started on the bench while Zohmingliana Ralte replaced the suspended Eli Sabia for the southerners.

Minerva Punjab suffered an early blow as Arshdeep Singh's injury following a collision with Chennaiyin forward CK Vineeth in the 11th minute needed the goalkeeper to be replaced by Bhaskar Roy.

In the 22nd minute, Roy was relieved to see Anirudh Thapa's attempt off Isaac Vanmalsawma's cross go wide before blocking another of Thapa's efforts two minutes later. 

Minerva Punjab Chennaiyin FC AFC Cup 2019

There was no lack of goalmouth action as the match approached the half-hour mark, with Chris Herd, Vineeth and Isaac wasting their opportunities for Chennaiyin while Kalif Alhassan and Gopalan failing to make the best of their chances at the other end.

Chennaiyin hung on to keep a clean sheet in the first half but it wasn't the case after the break. Lalmuanpuia received a pass from Akash Sangwan and placed his shot past Karanjit from the edge of the box to put Minerva ahead in the 62nd minute.

Vineeth got close to scoring the equaliser in the 77th minute but directed his header from a Thoi Singh cross straight into the hands of Roy while Lalmuapuia, who looked hungry for more, saw his shot blocked by Karanjit in the 84th minute.

The equaliser, however, did come at the stroke of regulation time. Mohammed Rafi, who had replaced Francis Fernandes in the second half, brought down a cross by Thapa from the left and slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

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