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Minerva hold Chennaiyin 1-1 in AFC Cup

By Sports Reporter
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GUWAHATI, June 19 - Riding on a last minute goal by Mohammed Rafi, Chennaiyin FC held Minerva Punjab 1-1 in their penultimate group match of the AFC Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Sarusajai here today.

The stadium wore a deserted look as almost all the stands were empty.

Chennaiyin, with the draw dented Minerva�s chances of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Mizo player Samuel Lalmuanpuia put Minerva, which is the host of the match, ahead in the 62nd minute and maintained the lead till the fag end of the match. But Rafi shattered the Punjab team�s hopes by firing the equaliser in the 90th minute.

With Abahani Dhaka thrashing Manang Marshyangdi of Nepal 5-0 in another Group E match in Dhaka, Chennaiyin dropped down to second place with eight points from five matches.

Abahani jumped to top spot with 10 points from five matches while Minerva, who have so far drawn all their five matches, are out of the tournament.

Now, Chennaiyin have to beat Manang Marshyangdi in their final group match in Kathmandu on June 26 if they have to qualify for Inter-Zone play-off semifinals. They also have to wait for the result of the Minerva-Abahani match to be played here on the same day. Only one team from the group will qualify for the Inter-Zone play-off semifinals and if Chhenaiyin and Abahani finish on equal points, the Indian side will go through on better head-to-head record.

It was an evenly played match as both the teams created several openings through out the course.

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Minerva hold Chennaiyin 1-1 in AFC Cup

GUWAHATI, June 19 - Riding on a last minute goal by Mohammed Rafi, Chennaiyin FC held Minerva Punjab 1-1 in their penultimate group match of the AFC Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Sarusajai here today.

The stadium wore a deserted look as almost all the stands were empty.

Chennaiyin, with the draw dented Minerva�s chances of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Mizo player Samuel Lalmuanpuia put Minerva, which is the host of the match, ahead in the 62nd minute and maintained the lead till the fag end of the match. But Rafi shattered the Punjab team�s hopes by firing the equaliser in the 90th minute.

With Abahani Dhaka thrashing Manang Marshyangdi of Nepal 5-0 in another Group E match in Dhaka, Chennaiyin dropped down to second place with eight points from five matches.

Abahani jumped to top spot with 10 points from five matches while Minerva, who have so far drawn all their five matches, are out of the tournament.

Now, Chennaiyin have to beat Manang Marshyangdi in their final group match in Kathmandu on June 26 if they have to qualify for Inter-Zone play-off semifinals. They also have to wait for the result of the Minerva-Abahani match to be played here on the same day. Only one team from the group will qualify for the Inter-Zone play-off semifinals and if Chhenaiyin and Abahani finish on equal points, the Indian side will go through on better head-to-head record.

It was an evenly played match as both the teams created several openings through out the course.