Minerva dent Chennaiyins knockout round chances goalkeeper suffers injury

first_imgGuwahati: Mohammed Rafi struck a last minute goal to snatch a 1-1 draw for Chennaiyin FC against Minerva Punjab in their penultimate group match of the AFC Cup here on Wednesday but the result dented the team’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stage. Samuel Lalmuanpuia gave the ‘hosts’ Minerva the lead in the 62nd minute and the former I-League champions were on the verge of posting their maiden win in the AFC Cup, but Rafi shattered the Punjab side’s hopes by scoring the equaliser in 90th minute here at the India Gandhi Athletics Stadium here. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevWith Abahani Dhaka beating Manang Marshyangdi of Nepal 5-0 in another Group E match in the Bangladesh capital, 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. If Chennaiyin have to qualify for the Inter-Zone play-off semifinals, they need to beat Manang Marshyangdi in their final group match in Kathmandu on June 26 and hope that Minerva either draw or lose against Abahani on the same day here. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsOnly 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 Super League side will go through on better head-to-head record. The match also saw Minerva goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh injuring his nose after a collision with Chennaiyin forward C K Vineeth in the first half and he was stretched off the venue and taken to a local hospital. Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said Arshdeep has suffered multiple fracture on his nose and he will need a surgery. “Arshdeep has multiple fractures on his nose. Though the CT scan result is clear and he has no head injury. He will need a surgery and will be out of action for at least two months. We have to decide where we will do the surgery in Chandigarh or Guwahati. It is unfortunate,” Bajaj said from Guwahati.last_img read more