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Villarreal's Uche pegs back Mönchengladbach

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Villarreal CF
Ikechukwu Uche made a brief but telling impact as a second-half substitute, scoring the equaliser for the visitors before exiting injured.

Mönchengladbach's Tony Jantschke vies with Moi Gómez
Mönchengladbach's Tony Jantschke vies with Moi Gómez ©Getty Images

Patrick Herrmann's first European goal gives Mönchengladbach the lead
Branimir Hrgota could have doubled the lead in the first half
Denis Cheryshev squanders two great opportunities for Villarreal
Ikechukwu Uche equalises seconds after coming on, then departs injured 
Next games: Zürich v Mönchengladbach, Villarreal v Apollon (2 October)

Ikechukwu Uche struck moments after coming on as a second-half substitute for Villarreal CF to earn the Spanish side a draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach in their Group A opener.

Mönchengladbach striker Max Kruse billed the visitors as "group favourites" in the matchday programme but, inspired by the presence this week of the original UEFA Cup trophy, the two-time winners were soon challenging for that mantle. The 39,128 crowd could have been forgiven for reminiscing about the good old days when Patrick Herrmann rifled in, pouncing on the edge of the box after the ball had run free following Víctor Ruiz's challenge on Branimir Hrgota.

A heavy downpour descended, and Hrgota's thoughts must have been as black as the skies when Sergio Asenjo's brilliant save denied him a certain goal. At the other end, Denis Cheryshev, earlier guilty of wasting a lovely through ball from Cani, fired over after being found by Moi Gómez's square ball.

Marcelino brought on Uche for Luciano Vietto and within seconds the Nigeria striker equalised with a composed low finish after Manu Trigueros' pass had found a gap in Gladbach's defence. Uche picked up an injury in the process and was soon withdrawn. His job was done, though – it ended honours even.