Lae City FC started off on a strong note as they dominate possession of the ball in their first group B challenge at the Luganville Soccer City Stadium.
Less than three minutes into the game and an impressive cross by captain Raymond Gunemba saw Emmanuel Simon drive a through ball into the Henderson Eels’ net.
Twenty-four minutes in and Henderson Eels were awarded a penalty. Tuti Zama Tanito converted his first spot kick of the game. Thirty-five minutes in and adept footwork by Raphael Le’ai saw him score his maiden Champions League goal. The Eels took a 2-1 lead to the break.
A return for the second half saw both sides struggle for possession until a handball from the Eels’ Derick Taebo gave the Lae team the opening that was needed. Simon wasted no time in driving the ball past the keeper to record his second goal of the match.
In the 63rd minute, captain Raymond Gunemba swiftly outran defenders from the left side of the field and drove the ball through, registering his team’s third goal.
However, Tanito’s second penalty levelled the match at 3-3 in the 70th minute.
Despite having a host of chances, Solomon Islands club Henderson could not deliver the winning strike in a game that also featured four yellow cards.
Lae City will take on Lautoka FC on Tuesday.