Minerva's quest for opening win in AFC Cup continues, 1-1 draw with Manang from Nepal

KATMANDU: A Man Of 10 Minerva Punjab They Were Held In A 1-1 Draw For Nepal Club Manang Marshyangdi In A Tie In Group E Of The AFC Cup Here On Wednesday, A Result That Will Severely Hamper His Chances Of Reaching The Next Round Of The Tournament.

Thoiba Singh He Gave Minerva The Advantage In The 40th Minute, But The Manang Defender Oluwashina Azeez Matched In Minute 81 To Deny The First I-League Champions A Win At The ANFA Complex Here.

Minerva, Who Were Denied By The Woodwork Twice In The First Half, Had To Play With 10 Men In The Second Half After Losing Prateek Joshi A Red Card Just Before The Half-time Whistle.

This Was Minerva's Fourth Draw In As Many Matches And They Are Still In Search Of Their Maiden Win In An AFC Cup Match.

With Four Points From As Many Matches, They Need To Win Both Their Remaining Group Matches To Stand In With A Chance Of Advancing To The Next Round.

Manang, On The Other Hand, Are Virtually Out Of Reckoning With Two Points - From Two Draws - From Four Matches.

Only The Top Side Of The Four-team Group Will Make It To The Inter-Zonal Play-off Semifinals.

Manang Began The Match By Starving Minerva Of Possession But The Indian Side Looked Effective When They Got A Chance With The Ball.

Samuel Lalmuanpuia Was Particularly Impressive In The Wings Early On. His First Attempt Was Thwarted By A Diving Tackle From Bishal Rai In The Wings But In The Eighth Minute, He Produced An Impressive Long Range Effort That Came Off The Bar.

Two Minutes Later, Thoiba Produced A Similar Effort But Ended Up With The Same Result.

In The 28th Minute, Samuel Dodged Past Kamal Shreshtha To Create Space For Himself In The Box But Ended Up Depositing The Shot Into The Arms Of Manang Goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha.

Thoiba, However, Made The Most Of A Slip-up By Shreshtha A Couple Of Minutes Later As I Have Felt Cross From Hassan Past The Manang Goalkeeper To Give Minerva The Lead In The 40th Minute.

Seconds Before Half-time, Though, Minerva Lost Joshi For A Red Card Offence.

Up Against A Reduced Side In The Second Half, The Nepalese Club Created More Chances. Arshdeep Singh Was Kept Busy In The Early Part Of The Half, Especially By Anjan Bista.

The Match, However, Turned On Its Head When Manang Equalized Through Shaheed Azeez In The 81st Minute. Azeez Calmly Headed To Long Ball Home In A Crowded Box.

Minerva Then Had A Goal Denied Minutes Before The Final Whistle Which Ensured Their Streak Of Draws In The Tournament Remained Unbroken.

Minerva Will Be Seen In Action Against Chennaiyin FC On June 19 In Guwahati While Manang Will Play Dhaka Abahani.