MILAN (AP) — Romelu Lukaku scored a late equalizer with his second goal of the game to give a coronavirus-affected Inter Milan team a 2-2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.
Ramy Bensebaini converted a penalty for Gladbach and Jonas Hofmann also scored for the German side before Lukaku’s last-minute equalizer.
In the other Group B match, Real Madrid fell to a surprising 3-2 loss at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.
In Milan, it was the first match between the former heavyweights in more than 40 years. The German side overcame Inter on its way to winning the UEFA Cup in 1979.
The Inter squad had been hard hit by the coronavirus. Full back Achraf Hakimi tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Teammates Ashley Young, Milan Škriniar, Roberto Gagliardini and Ionut Radu were also out with the virus but Alessandro Bastoni and Radja Nainggolan had tested negative and were on the bench.
Lukaku almost gave Inter the lead shortly before halftime but he fired narrowly wide of the left post.
The Belgium forward did break the deadlock four minutes into the second half. Matteo Darmian’s shot was blocked and fell into the path of Lukaku, who rifled it into the back of the net.
Lukaku has now scored in nine successive European matches after he propelled Inter to the Europa League final last season.
However, Gladbach leveled shortly after the hour when Arturo Vidal tripped Marcus Thuram in the penalty area and the referee awarded a spot kick after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Bensebaini fired the penalty into the bottom right corner.
Inter almost took the lead in stunning fashion eight minutes from time but Lautaro Martínez’s swiveled volley crashed off the right post.
Instead it was Gladbach which went in front…