A 90th-minute strike by Adolfo Araujo Fito helped Chennai City FC salvage a 2-2 draw with Maziya S&RC from Maldives in an AFC Cup Group E match in Chennai on Wednesday.
Spanish forward Fito, who scored both the goals, ensured that the 2018-’19 I-League champions take a point in their opening game.
Chennai’s second goal came after a flurry of chances were created by the team as Fito shot home from the right side of the six-yard box, leaving the Maziya goalkeeper with no chance.
Fito had earlier scored in the 11th minute to put the home side ahead in a rather scrappy contest. Trailing by a goal at half time, the team from Maldives bounced back strongly with two strikes in the space of three minutes.
Mohammed Irufaan equalised for Maziya with a header from a pass from Mphammed Hamza in the 64th minute. Ibrahim Mahudhee Hussain put the islanders ahead in the 67th minute with a right-footed strike.
The first half was a tepid affair after promising a lot of action following a save by the CCFC goalie from a long-ranger by Maziya’s Cornelius Stewart.
The visiting side appeared to be having the better of the exchanges when CCFC scored against the run of play in the 11th minute. Adolfo Araujo Fito latched on to a pass from Ajith Kumar Kamaraj and after a couple of touches, shot from a difficult angle to the bottom left corner amid cheer from the local team’s fans.
Chennai City will travel to Maldives to play Maziya in their second match on May 27. The Indian side’s next match is against TC Sports on 15 April.
(Correction: The report originally said this was a first leg match while it is just the first match of the group stage. The error has now been rectified.)